Hernandez Sentenced

Police and fire scan

February 23, 1992

WESTMINSTER — Henry Hernandez, the Miami man who was indicted last year under the state's drug kingpin statute, was given a 10-year suspended sentence last week.

Hernandez, his brother, Fernando Hernandez, and Fernando's wife, Bonnie, were indicted by a county grand jury in January 1990 on charges that they ran a Florida-to-Carroll cocaine ring.

Henry Hernandez was the last of the three to be sentenced in the case, in which drug kingpin charges ultimately were dropped.

He was sentenced on a misdemeanor conspiracy conviction, stemming from theplea agreement with the state's attorney in which the kingpin charges were dropped, and his sentence was far lighter than that of his brother. Fernando Hernandez was sentenced to 14 years in prison for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute on Dec. 3. Bonnie Hernandez was given a three-year suspended sentence and placed on probation,while Marilene Santos, Henry's live-in girlfriend, was given a 10-year suspended sentence.

Henry Hernandez was allowed to move back toMiami, where he will be placed on supervised probation for five years.

In an unusual request, his public defender, Judson K. Larrimore, asked that Henry Hernandez be charged $1,000 for the services of the public defender's office. Sentencing Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. granted that request.

The plea agreements in the case were sealed by Burns. No reason was given for making the records inaccessible.


CAPTION: Henry Hernandez, indicted last year under the state's drug kingpin statute, received a 10-year suspended sentence last week.



WESTMINSTER-- State police released a composite sketch of the man who robbed a High's dairy store in the 400 block of East Main Street Feb. 8.

The suspect is described as a 5-foot 10-inch Hispanic man weighing about 190 pounds, with cropped dark hair and a mustache. Police say he entered the convenience store and made a small purchased at about 4:30p.m.

As the purchase was rung up on the cash register, the man, dressed in blue sweat pants and a blue or gray ski jacket, showed the clerk a black bag and told the clerk to empty the cash register, policesaid.

After the clerk gave the man an undisclosed amount of money, the man left the store on foot. No weapon was used, police said.



WESTMINSTER -- Two times they escaped from a boy's home near Hagerstown, using stolen cars to get here. And twice they were arrested by state police.

The 16-year-old boys, believed to be from Westminster, escaped from the Cedar Ridge Children's Home and School twice in a three-day period.

In themost recent incident, the youths escaped from the home last Sunday and stole a 1987 Chevrolet van after "walking down I-70," police said.They walked until they came to a Chevrolet dealership in Hagerstown,where they took the van, police said.

The two were arrested at the 140 Village Shopping Center early Monday by Tfc. John J. Wisniewskiwithout difficulty, police said.

In questioning by police, the teens disclosed that they had left the van in the parking lot of the Grace Lutheran Church on Kemper Avenue.

In the first incident, the duo was arrested Feb. 15 after a traffic stop, police said. A trooper stopped a 1983 Pontiac on Route 140 near Meadow Branch Road early that day after noticing that the car had registration tags that were inappropriate for a passenger car.

The boys, who will be charged as juveniles with auto theft, were sent to the Boys Village of Maryland in Cheltenham. The Boys Village has tighter security than Cedar Ridge.



TANEYTOWN -- A 5-year-old child playing with a cigarette lighter Thursday started a fire in a two-story wood-frame house here that caused $40,000 in damage and left her family homeless, the Fire Marshal's Office said.

The home, in the 500 block of Chestnut Court, sustained smoke and fire damage on the upper floor, fire officials said. The one-alarm blaze was fought by nearly 30 members of companies from Taneytown, Harney, Reese and Emmitsburg. They contained the blaze within 15 minutes, officials said.No injuries were reported.

The fire was reported about 1:30 p.m. Fire officials say Audrey Daley and her daughter were home when the daughter apparently took a cigarette lighter into a closet, where clothes caught fire.



WESTMINSTER -- A party to celebrate the retirement of long-time Fire Marshal investigator J. Elwood Kauffman is scheduled for this evening atthe Westminster Volunteer Fire Company.

Kauffman, who worked withthe state Fire Marshal's Office for 23 years before retiring Dec. 31, will be joined by friends, colleagues, public officials and firefighters beginning at 5 p.m.

County Commissioner President Donald I. Dell is expected to attend.



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