- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 23, 2009



Man gets 18 months for armored car theft

An armored car driver from Oxon Hill who pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal more than $588,000 was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison.

Bennie Hugh Pelham, 35, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt. Pelham had previously pleaded guilty to conspiring with two others to rob the armored car. A fourth defendant was charged with helping the three hide the money, which was later found by police.

U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams Jr. had previously sentenced Gary Gregory Lane Jr., 27, of Oxon Hill to two years and Edward Lewis Mayo, 33, of Temple Hills to 14 months. Damon Keith Pritchett, 33, of Annapolis was sentenced to two years probation with six months home detention for helping hide the stolen money.


Man convicted in plot to sell licenses

A federal jury on Wednesday convicted an Upper Marlboro man in a conspiracy to make and sell Maryland driver’s licenses to people who were not entitled to have them.

A jury convicted Patrick Gordon, 32, of conspiracy to produce and transfer identification documents produced without lawful authority and other offenses. He will be sentenced Oct. 19.

According to trial testimony, applicants for driver’s licenses paid Gordon and his wife, Natalie Palmer, thousands of dollars to get fraudulently issued driver’s licenses. The couple worked with employees of the Motor Vehicle Administration in the plot.

The conspirators received at least $128,000 from about 64 applicants.

Palmer and other conspirators have pleaded guilty in the plot.


Board OKs $65,000 in harassment case

The Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved a $65,000 sexual harassment settlement for an employee in the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

The employee said she was subjected to gender discrimination and a hostile work environment by the conduct of at least nine of her male co-workers while she was employed in the maintenance shop at the Baltimore City Detention Center from July of 2004 until May of 2007.

The charges were first made in May 2005.

As part of the settlement, the woman, who still works for the department, has agreed to dismiss her case with prejudice and release all claims against the department and the state.


Mom set house fire with child inside

Maryland fire marshals arrested a Lexington Park woman Wednesday for locking herself and her 18-month-old in their home and setting it on fire.

The state fire marshal’s office said Jeinny Navarro, 19, is charged with arson and reckless endangerment.

Investigators said she poured a flammable liquid around the home and ignited it. Her husband and neighbors rescued her and the child.

Authorities said the couple had an altercation the day before she is thought to have set the house on fire.

Firefighters had the fire under control in about 20 minutes.



Former GOP leaders endorse Deeds’ run

Seven Republican former state legislators on Wednesday endorsed state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds’ Democratic run for governor.

It was the second partisan crossover this week, with five former GOP state senators, two former Republican delegates and an independent who worked for a former Republican lieutenant governor lining up for Mr. Deeds.

On Monday, major Democratic donor Sheila Johnson, a billionaire co-founder of the Black Entertainment Television network, stunned Virginia political circles by endorsing Republican candidate Robert F. McDonnell.

The list of Mr. Deeds’ Republican endorsements includes former state Sen. Marty Williams of Newport News, Senate retirees Russell Potts and John Chichester and former Delegates Anne “Panny” Rhodes and Jim Dillard.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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