In Baltimore City Owner of nightclub in Fells Point...


March 08, 2002|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Baltimore City

Owner of nightclub in Fells Point admits laundering money

A Fells Point nightclub owner has admitted helping launder more than $360,000, money that he and two other nightclub owners believed was from illegal drug sales but was part of an FBI sting operation, federal prosecutors said yesterday.

Francis Lee, 45, pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and money laundering charges late Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, before he was to stand trial. Lee also pleaded guilty to one count of harboring illegal aliens for financial gain, a charge that stemmed from his illegal hiring of Hungarian nationals to work at the Ritz Cabaret as nude dancers.

As part of his plea agreement, Lee agreed to forfeit all assets used in the money laundering scheme, including the club in the 500 block of S. Broadway. Two other men, Kerry C. Canavan, 45, and Henry D. Caldarazzo, 41, both of Baltimore, pleaded guilty earlier to conspiracy charges. Canavan also agreed to forfeit his interest in Memories, an adult entertainment club in the 4000 block of North Point Blvd. in Baltimore County.

Jury being selected in trial over police officer's death

Jury selection began yesterday in the case of Howard T. Whitworth, a 27-year-old man accused of killing Baltimore police Agent Michael J. Cowdery Jr. last March on an East Baltimore street.

Whitworth is accused of shooting Cowdery while the officer and several of his colleagues were questioning two men outside a carryout restaurant in the 2300 block of Harford Road. Cowdery, 31, was hit in the head; another officer, Ronald A. Beverly, was wounded in the ankle and leg. Whitworth was wounded when officers returned fire.

According to charging documents, Cowdery was first shot in the leg, then the assailant grabbed him and shot him in the head as he lay disabled on the sidewalk. Whitworth is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, reckless endangerment, using a handgun in the commission of a felony and possession of a handgun. The trial is expected to begin Monday.

Mentally ill woman guilty in son's stabbing

A mentally ill 38-year-old woman pleaded guilty yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court to first-degree attempted murder for stabbing her 9-year-old son 12 times in her East Baltimore rowhouse in September.

At the request of prosecutors, Judge Joseph P. McCurdy found Carol Karaberis to be not criminally responsible for injuring her son, and committed her to a state mental hospital.

The boy, now 10, has recovered physically and is in the custody of the Department of Social Services, said prosecutor Julie Drake.

City police identify man killed in collision

A man killed Wednesday night in a collision on West Cold Spring Lane was identified by city police yesterday as Jermal Sean Thomas, 24, of the 5700 block of Jonquil Ave.

Thomas was a passenger in a late-model Lincoln Mark 8 that police said was speeding in the 2200 block of W. Cold Spring, failed to negotiate a curve, entered the opposite lane, became airborne and landed on top of an eastbound Chevrolet Cavalier.

The driver of the Cavalier, Vandella Hayes, 34, of the 2500 block of Edgecombe Circle North, was in fair condition last night at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. The Lincoln's driver, identified as Damon Gaither, 26, of the 1500 of Myrtle Ave., was discharged from Sinai Hospital last night.

Polar bear confiscated from circus now at city zoo

A female polar bear confiscated by federal authorities from a circus in Puerto Rico arrived early yesterday at her new home, the Baltimore Zoo, where she will be quarantined for at least 30 days before public debut.

During that period, the bear, named Alaska, will be vaccinated, placed on a proper diet and monitored by zoo staff before she is introduced to the zoo's male polar bear, Magnet.

Alleged by animal rights activities to have been mistreated by handlers in the Mexico-based Suarez Bros. Circus, Alaska was taken by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after the agency found the show possessed falsified birth documents for the bear.

Conference on ethnicity, race, justice is under way

The second National Conference on the Impact of Race and Ethnicity on the Justice System opened yesterday at Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel.

Sponsored by the American Bar Association's Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice, the three-day conference is being attended by about 100 lawyers, judges and students from throughout the country, and a group of students from South Africa.

Scheduled speakers include former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, incumbent Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken and Dennis W. Archer, who is expected to become the first African-American president of the ABA next year.

In Baltimore County

Missing 1-year-old found in Baltimore

RANDALLSTOWN -- A 1- year-old Randallstown girl missing since Monday night was found in Baltimore last night, police said. Baltimore police said they were contacted by a woman who had been holding the baby.

Kayla Olivia Ford was last seen with her grandfather, Louis Ford, 47, when he dropped off his daughter at work Monday night. Louis Ford's whereabouts are unknown, police said.

Family members rejoiced at the news of the baby's recovery. "It's wonderful news," said Susana Ford, the child's grandmother.

$130,000 to buy equipment for terror attack defense

TOWSON -- Baltimore County will receive $130,000 from the federal government to purchase equipment to defend against a terrorist attack, officials said yesterday.

The money will pay for hazardous substance detection and decontamination equipment, with suits and masks for emergency workers.

The grant is part of a $2.74 million award for the state. The executive committee of the Maryland Terrorism Forum distributed the money to jurisdictions and state departments based on need. Baltimore got the largest grant, $201,000, followed by Anne Arundel, Montgomery and Baltimore counties.

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