- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 1, 2009


Two plead guilty in counterfeit scheme

Federal prosecutors said two men have pleaded guilty in a scheme in which $1.6 million worth of counterfeit checks were passed in the Washington area.

Naibeye Koumbairia, 35, of Washington and William Glay Jr., 33, of Germantown entered the pleas Tuesday in U.S. District Court. They will sentenced Dec. 21. Koumbairia, who was born in Chad, and Glay, who was born in Liberia, also face deportation.

Prosecutors said the two men from 1999 through 2007 directed a network of conspirators, including bank employees, who provided copies of genuine checks. Koumbairia and Glay created counterfeit checks purportedly drawn on numerous banks that were then passed by conspirators at banks, stores and check-cashing establishments.



Man treated after hazmat spill

A 56-year-old Cambridge man was flown to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore after a hazardous materials spill at a small chemical company.

Jeff Hurley, chief of the Cambridge fire and rescue company, said between 10 and 20 gallons of sodium hydroxide spilled Wednesday morning during a transfer from a truck at Intercoastal Trading Inc. in Cambridge.

Chief Hurley said the spill was quickly contained, was never a threat to the public and much of it was under control by the time responders arrived.


Woman convicted in fatal stabbing

A Wicomico County Circuit Court jury on Tuesday convicted Brittany Barkley, 20, of Salisbury, of murder in a carjacking and stabbing.

Barkely was convicted of killing Anitra Pirkle, 25, in January. Authorities said Barkley and two others stole Miss Pirkle’s gold Nissan Altima, stabbed her multiple times and left her for dead before driving away in her car.

Kenneth Benjamin Alvira, 16, and Briana Marie Brinkley, 19, have been convicted of first-degree murder in the case.


Ocean City bridge to have weight limit

Vehicles heavier than pickups won’t be allowed to cross the Route 90 bridge into Ocean City after inspectors found deterioration in a girder requiring immediate attention, state officials said Wednesday.

The bridge, one of two into the resort city, is considered safe for passenger vehicles under a 6,000-pound limit. Engineers spotted the deterioration in an 85-foot long girder during an inspection Tuesday, and they are reviewing what repairs need to be made and how long they will take.


Brothers charged in cabbie’s beating

Howard County police have arrested two teenage brothers in the beating and robbery of a cabdriver in Laurel.

Jeremiah Bridges, 17, and Justin Bridges, 16, both of Laurel, have been charged as adults with attempted murder, robbery and assault. They were arrested on Tuesday and are being held on a $500,000 bond each.

Police say cabdriver Getachew Lima of Washington picked up the two boys on Sept. 13. The teens said they wanted a ride to Laurel from the Greenbelt Metro station. Upon arrival, officers say, the two beat and choked Mr. Lima and stole cash from him.



3-year sentence in Ponzi scheme

An Arlington businessman has been sentenced to three years in prison for operating a $40 million Ponzi scheme that ensnared nearly 200 victims. Prosecutors sought a prison term of more than five years.

Preston Pinkett II, 70, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a mail fraud conspiracy related to the Ponzi scheme in December. Most of the 180 victims of Pinkett’s scheme were Canadian.

Prosecutors estimated that the victims lost about $20 million. Court papers indicated that Pinkett personally profited by more than $5 million.

In court Tuesday, Pinkett apologized to his victims and said he did not initially intend to defraud them.


Whale carcass awaits necropsy

The carcass of a 10-ton female humpback whale that landed on the shore of the York River has been towed to a nearby island, where it will undergo an examination to determine what killed it.

Officials with the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center’s Stranding Response Program say they might attempt a necropsy on Thursday.

A 28-foot boat towed the young, 25-foot whale about two miles across the river to a secluded beach at high tide Wednesday morning. Crews anchored the carcass to the shore.

A tugboat operator spotted the dead whale Saturday in the Chesapeake Bay. Winds and tides ultimately carried it to the York River, where it beached on Jenkins Neck and became a spectacle for Gloucester-area residents.

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