- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Ex-DMV worker admits to bribes

A former D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles employee yesterday admitted to issuing roughly 200 driver’s licenses to foreign nationals ineligible to receive them.

Patricia E. Gonzalez, 39, of Takoma Park, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to receipt of a bribe by a public official. She admitted to issuing the licenses without requiring proper documentation or verifying personal information of the applicants.

Gonzalez also said she entered false information into the department’s system and used her override authority to have it accept the data and issue the licenses. In exchange, she received bribes from $500 to $1,000.

Gonzalez faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced Aug. 14.



Father enters plea in children’s deaths

A Rockville man has pleaded not criminally responsible to charges he drowned his three children at a Baltimore hotel.

Mark Castillo, 41, entered the plea yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court. He will undergo a mental-health evaluation.

Court documents state Mr. Castillo has confessed to March 30 killings of Anthony, 6; Austin, 4; and Athena, 2.

He had been involved in a custody dispute with his estranged wife.


Seized slots funds given to police

The Internal Revenue Service has given nearly $4 million to three Maryland law-enforcement agencies that helped investigate a business operating illegal gaming machines at truck stops.

Truck Stop Games LLC of Chester, Va., pleaded guilty earlier this month to money laundering. The company forfeited $6.7 million collected from machines at three Maryland TravelCenters from 2002 to 2005.

The state police received nearly $2.3 million in forfeited funds, with $1.6 million going to the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Department. The Baltimore County Police Department received about $175,000.


Teen arrested in fatal bat beating

Anne Arundel County Police arrested a 15-year-old on Friday in a fatal beating with a baseball bat. Christian Schellenschlager of Glen Burnie is charged as an adult with first-degree murder.

Police said Brian Myers, 49, suffered serious head wounds when he was attacked during an argument with several teenagers April 29 at an intersection in Glen Burnie. Mr. Myers died from his injuries at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore last week.


Moving van flips on Route 50

A moving-van driver who apparently suffered a medical emergency while driving lost control of his truck yesterday afternoon and crashed on Route 50.

The truck split open, dumping furniture and other household items onto the roadway.

The driver was taken to a hospital. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.


Man signals distress with flashlight

A British couple trying to sail home to England injured in a storm in the Chesapeake Bay that also broke the mast of their sailboat used a flashlight to send a distress signal, prompting their rescue.

After 12 hours of drifting, an “SOS” sent by Albert Labos with a flashlight was spotted by a passing boat about four miles east of the Patuxent River. That vessel contacted the Coast Guard, which rescued the Laboses at a bridge near Solomons Island.



Board extends lease for Saudi Academy

The Board of Supervisors voted last night to continue leasing property to a private Islamic school funded by the Saudi government, a school accused by its critics of fostering intolerance.

The Islamic Saudi Academy leases its flagship campus in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County for about $2.2 million a year. Last night’s unanimous vote extends the lease by one year, through June 2009.

The county has leased the land to the academy since 1989. But the lease faced increased scrutiny this year after a federal commission recommended that the academy be shut down.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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