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Ex-Officer Gets 2.5 Years In Bank Break-In

Greenbelt, Md. (AP)- A former Prince George's County police officer has been sentenced to 21/2 years in prison for orchestrating a bank break-in.

A federal judge sentenced 42-year-old Eddie Smith Jr. of Fort Washington on Monday and ordered him to pay more than $10,000 in restitution. Smith pleaded guilty in July to breaking into a Temple Hills SunTrust bank last year.

According to his plea agreement, Smith drove 54-year-old Earl Blake of Capitol Heights to the bank in his cruiser, then gave him tools and instructions on how to cut open an ATM safe. Firefighters responded to the bank after receiving an alarm and saw Blake inside. Blake fled and Smith ran around the bank as though he were pursuing him, but then fled himself.

Blake was sentenced to five months in prison.

Man Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Stealing the Pay of U.S. Servicemen

        Greenbelt, Maryland - Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Andre Everton Grant, age 27, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, today to four years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for fraudulently accessing a computer containing the payroll accounts of specific U.S. servicemen; using the personal information of other individuals, without their knowledge, to fraudulently obtain and use credit and debit cards; and aggravated identity theft.

Man Sentenced After Attempting to Rob Armored Dunbar Truck Carrying $2 Million in Cash

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Toumani Touray Thomas, age 33, of Washington, D.C. today to 183 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for attempting to rob a Dunbar armored truck containing over $2 million in cash and firing a rifle during the robbery attempt.  Judge Titus also ordered Thomas to pay restitution of $5,285, for the damage he caused to the armored truck.

        The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief Roberto L. Hylton of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

Silver Spring Man Indicted in $1.7 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Greenbelt, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted Wayne James Carter, 47, of Silver Spring, Maryland, on wire and mail fraud charges in connection with a $1.7 million mortgage fraud scheme. Carter had his initial appearance at the U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland.

According to the 13 count indictment, Carter allegedly made false statements on loan documents as to his monthly income, outstanding judgments against him and lawsuits to which he was a party.  Carter is also believed to have represented that he was not responsible to pay child support, when in fact he was obligated to pay child support.  The indictment alleges that based on Carter’s false statements, lenders approved loans on five properties, totaling $1,794,675.80, which is the amount the government seeks to forfeit as the proceeds of the scheme.

Calvert County Man Indicted for Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography

                Grenbelt, Maryland - A federal grand jury has indicted Lawrence Francis Robinson, age 30, of North Beach, Maryland, today for distribution and possession of child pornography.

“Children are sexually abused to produce these images.  Anyone who has information about sexual abuse of a child should contact the FBI at (410) 265-8080,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.  “Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are united in our commitment to combat sexual exploitation of children.”

Maryland Cell Phone Ban Begins

Maryland residents and those residents who travel through Maryland need to know that on Friday, October 1, 2010 (this Friday) - cell phone use will become illegal while driving. The offense will be a "secondary" offense, meaning that offenders can only be cited with it if they are pulled over for another primary offense like speeding or running a red light.

Beginning on Friday, people who wish to make a call while driving MUST use a hands free device. The fine will be $40 for the first offense and $100 for subsequent violations of the law.

Texting while driving has been illegal for some time now and already carries a fine.

Maryland is following suit with several other states with cellular phone bans while in operation of a motor vehicle, but it is one of the only (if not the only) state to list the law as a "secondary" offense.

Md. IRS Officer Pleads Guilty In Fraud Scheme

(AP)- A former Internal Revenue Service officer has pleaded guilty to unlawfully accessing 12 taxpayer accounts in a tax fraud scheme.

Forty-five-year-old Mark Hunt of Baltimore faces as up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for unauthorized disclosure of information.

Prosecutors say Hunt wore IRS identification and attended meetings with the owner of a tax preparation service and potential clients between 1999 and 2004. He was paid to access 12 of the clients' IRS accounts to obtain confidential taxpayer information so the business owner could prove to his clients that he had a contact inside the IRS.

Hunt is scheduled for sentencing in January 2011.