- The Washington Times - Friday, March 24, 2006

REGION

Lawyer pleads guilty to immigration fraud

A McLean lawyer pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit immigration fraud by helping illegal aliens obtain green cards and gain employment in the United States, federal officials said.

Sergei Danilov, 46, admitted Thursday that he and others in his Falls Church-based firm — Sergei Danilov and Associates LLC — prepared and submitted more than 100 fraudulent applications for alien employment certification to the Department of Labor and the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services from March 2002 to May 2005.

Danilov and District-based lawyer Irwin Jay Fredman were indicted April 26 on charges of immigration fraud along with two legal assistants — Elnur Veliev, 21, of Silver Spring, and Alp Canseven, 30, of the District.

Danilov, a Russian national, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when sentenced May 31. He agreed to forfeit $200,000 to the government and surrender his license to practice law.

Fredman and Veliev also pleaded guilty. Canseven remains a fugitive.

Officer killed in crash had ruptured aorta

A Metropolitan Police Department officer killed in a car crash Thursday night had just called in to check on a possible stolen vehicle when he suffered a ruptured aorta before crashing into two cars, police said yesterday.

Police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said Chief Charles H. Ramsey has reviewed a 911 recording from Sgt. Gerard Burke Jr., a 16-year veteran, and determined he died in the line of duty.

Sgt. Burke, 39, was off duty when he lost control of his sport utility vehicle on 11th Street Northwest. It crossed the center line, hit a parked car, then spun around and hit a moving car.

The driver of that car walked away from the accident.

VIRGINIA

SPRINGFIELD

Closures set for Beltway, I-395

Drivers on Interstate 95 should expect detours and delays for the next three nights near the Mixing Bowl project.

The exit ramp to Springfield from the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway and the southbound lanes of Interstate 395 will be closed so workers can move steel beams, pave the roadway and do other work.

The ramp will be closed until 9 a.m. today and will be closed again from 8 tonight until 9 a.m. tomorrow.

It will close again at 9 p.m. tomorrow and reopen at 5 a.m. Monday, then close at 9 p.m. Monday and reopen at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Project officials said detours around the construction will be marked.

MARYLAND

ANNAPOLIS

Ehrlich asks for funds for paper ballots

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. yesterday proposed an additional $28.6 million in state spending, including money to buy an optical scan voting system if the state switches to paper ballots for the 2006 primary and general elections.

The House of Delegates has voted unanimously to abandon use of the Diebold touchscreen voting machines for at least one year — a move supported by the governor — because of concerns about the reliability of the machines. The Senate has not taken action.

Mr. Ehrlich, a Republican, also asked the legislature to approve $13.4 million to pay the costs of allowing Marylanders, for the first time, to cast ballots at a limited number of polling places during the week before the elections.

The money was part of the governor’s second supplement to the budget that he presented to the legislature in January.

Mr. Ehrlich also is asking for $15 million for county and municipal governments to help them pay for transportation projects. That would make up more than half of the $25.8 million that the legislature set aside for local road projects that the Ehrlich administration refused to give to county and municipal governments.

FREDERICK

Grand jury clears officer in fatal shooting

A Frederick County grand jury yesterday cleared a Frederick city police officer in the fatal shooting of a man after an undercover drug deal.

The grand jury found that the shooting of Bruce R. Day Jr. by Cpl. Ronald Figgers, a nine-year veteran of the force, was justified, State’s Attorney Scott L. Rolle said.

Mr. Day, 38, was killed March 1 after stabbing an undercover officer during a struggle after selling what turned out to be fake crack cocaine to a female officer for $150, Mr. Rolle said.

Mr. Day managed to get a folding knife that undercover Officer Steven Brown carried in his pocket and stabbed him in the back and slashed his right forearm, Mr. Rolle said.

Officer Figgers arrived and when Day didn’t drop the knife, he fired four times, hitting Mr. Day in the hand, shoulder and upper chest, Mr. Rolle said.

Mr. Rolle said Mr. Day had cocaine in his system and had told his probation agent he was not going back to jail, Mr. Rolle said.

“There was some indication he was planning that if he was ever confronted by the police, he would resist,” he said.

URBANA

School warns parents of choking game

After a 15-year-old Urbana student died earlier this month, guidance counselors at Urbana High School and Windsor Knolls Middle School sent letters to parents about the “choking game.”

Bill Bowen died alone at home the night of March 14, said the Rev. Matt Poole, a spokesman for the family.

In the “choking game,” people cut off their air supply with a rope, a belt or someone else’s help. The goal is to pass out and then get a brief high when oxygen rushes back to the brain.

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office thinks the death was accidental but is still investigating.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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