- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Bay Bridge lanes to close for deck work

The Maryland Transportation Authority will close lanes of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge for maintenance a couple of times over the next week.

The closures will allow contractors to perform work on the deck of the bridge.

The westbound side will be closed from 8 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday. The eastbound span will carry traffic in both directions.

Westbound traffic also will be diverted from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday.


Helicopter crash injures pilot

A small helicopter crashed yesterday afternoon as the pilot attempted to land on a flatbed truck at the Dundalk Marine Terminal, authorities said.

The helicopter was supposed to be loaded as cargo on a ship bound for Sweden, said Richard Scher, a spokesman for the Maryland Port Administration.

The unidentified pilot was able to free himself from the wreckage, and he was taken to a hospital with injuries described as not life-threatening, Mr. Scher said.

The Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter crashed about 3 p.m.

Television images showed the small, red helicopter sitting on the pavement. The undercarriage was mangled, and the tail rotor had snapped off, but the cockpit did not appear to have sustained much damage.


Body found in field identified

A body found in a field in September has been identified, state police said.

Joyce Ann Toliver, 51, who is thought to have lived in Harford County, was last seen in the Aberdeen area in April or May.

A man found what appeared to be human remains in a field near Boyer Road, police said. The remains were taken to the office of the chief medical examiner for an autopsy.

Police are asking anyone with information about Miss Toliver’s disappearance to contact Sgt. Tina Becker at 410/386-3029.


Oil-delivery truck overturns, spills

A tanker truck overturned yesterday morning on a country road and leaked a couple hundred gallons of oil into the woods, said Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County fire department.

Mr. Brady said the truck appeared to have lost control and overturned about 10 a.m. in the 15200 block of Croom Airport Road.

The 2,800-gallon truck, owned by PETRO, delivers oil to homes. Mr. Brady said the driver was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

About 45 firefighters worked to contain the spill.


MS-13 members guilty of racketeering

Two members of the violent Hispanic street gang MS-13 have been convicted under federal racketeering laws of conspiring with the gang to commit murders and other crimes in the Washington area.

Edgar “Pony” Ayala, 29, and Oscar “Casper” Ramos Velasquez, 21, were found guilty Tuesday by a U.S. District Court jury, which deliberated for five days after a six-week trial.

The verdict means both men are eligible for life prison terms when they are sentenced in February.

The men are the first of 22 persons, all suspected to be MS-13 members, indicted last year under the racketeering law to go on trial. Nine face the death penalty.

The indictments are among the first in the area to apply the broad Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law, referred to as RICO and usually reserved for organized crime, against the growing MS-13 gang.

The federal indictment links the group to crimes since 2001 that include seven killings in Maryland and Virginia, assaults, kidnappings, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.


Boy, 9, struck by officer’s cruiser

A 9-year-old boy was in stable condition after he was hit by an off-duty state trooper in her patrol car.

Trooper Wanda V. Smith, 30, was driving home Tuesday after finishing a shift and came upon a school bus, authorities said. The empty bus was stopped and the driver was trying to make a left turn into a bus parking lot, the Easton Star Democrat reported.

The boy, Jeremiah M. Carswell, apparently darted into the street and in front of Trooper Smith’s car. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore with injuries, details of which were not disclosed.

Trooper Smith was driving within the 25 mph speed limit when her cruiser struck the boy, investigators said.


Phony $100 bills appear at mall

Thieves passed five phony $100 bills last week at two stores at Marley Station Mall, Anne Arundel County police said.

The bills were designed to beat special iodine pens used by store employees to detect counterfeit money, police said.

The Secret Service said the iodine pens are an easy way to detect phony currency but can be bypassed.


Man held in death of security guard

A man has been arrested in the death of a security guard at a FedEx distribution center, Prince George’s County police said.

Fabian Andre Shim, 41, faces first-degree murder charges in the killing of Reina Lynch, 26.

Miss Lynch, who was a mother of two, was found Saturday near the gate of the facility on Trolley Lane. She had been shot once in the upper body.

Police initially said the crime appeared to be random, but they now say Mr. Shim and Miss Lynch were in a relationship and had argued about child support.

Mr. Shim was arrested Tuesday at his home in the Forestville area. He is being held without bail.


Court denies motion to bar press at trial

A Carroll County man who was granted a new trial after his conviction for sexually abusing two preteen girls has lost his bid to have the press barred from future court proceedings.

Tony Bruneau, 36, of Pleasant Valley, was found guilty last year of two counts each of child abuse and second-degree sex offense after pleading no contest. But he was granted a new trial in April after arguing that his public defender provided an inadequate defense and manipulated him into accepting the plea deal.

A motion Tuesday by Mr. Bruneau’s new attorney sought to have the press barred from future court proceedings. The trial is scheduled to begin in January.



Ex-deputy sentenced on drug count

A former deputy sheriff for Greensville County was sentenced yesterday to 71 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Timothy W. Williams, 35, of Emporia, also will be subject to four years of supervised release after serving his prison term.

In August, Williams admitted confiscating 1 kilogram of cocaine during a February 2004 traffic stop, then passing the cocaine along to two conspirators. They then altered the content of the drugs before returning what was left to Williams, who submitted it to the state crime lab, investigators said.

Williams was paid $1,800 for his role in the conspiracy, prosecutors said.

Williams was a deputy for about six years.


Sex offender gets 3 life terms

A man was sentenced to three life sentences plus 136 years for sexually assaulting three children.

Edwin Martin, 58, of Scottsburg, received his sentence Tuesday for what Halifax Circuit Court Judge Leslie M. Osborn called “the ultimate breach of trust.”

In August, Martin pleaded guilty to forcible sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, object penetration, producing child pornography, enticing a child to perform in child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Halifax Commonwealth’s Attorney Kimberley S. White had sought the maximum sentence of 12 life terms plus 375 years in prison.


Officer arrested in pedophile sting

A Hampton-area correctional officer is facing multiple charges after police said he was captured in an online sting of child predators.

Viraj Rajendra Gupta, 32, was arrested Sunday night by deputies after he showed up at a meeting place set up in an online chat with an officer posing as a 13-year-old girl.

Authorities said Mr. Gupta began chatting last month with the “girl,” who was actually Sgt. D.S. Little. Sgt. Little has netted more than a dozen pedophiles this way.

Mr. Gupta is charged with multiple counts of attempting to solicit sex with a child over the Internet. He resigned his job as a correctional officer with the Hampton Sheriff’s Office.


College gets pledge of $9.6 million for arts

The College of William & Mary has received an anonymous pledge of $9.6 million for its visual arts programs.

The gift is from the same person who gave $5 million to help renovate the Lake Matoaka Amphitheater, college officials said Tuesday. The amphitheater is scheduled to open next year.

Officials described the donor as a long-standing supporter of the arts on campus.

In a statement issued through William & Mary, the donor said the $9.6 million is to ensure that art department students and faculty will have the resources they need. The college requires all undergraduates to take at least two credit hours in the creative or performing arts.

“We are grateful to have such a friend who truly understands the important role the arts play at William & Mary,” said P. Geoffrey Feiss, the school’s chief academic officer.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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