News Around The Baltimore Region

April 17, 2005


American Legion robbed; post employee is injured

The American Legion post in Hampstead was held up by an armed robber early yesterday, state police said.

About 5 a.m., a man armed with a handgun forced an employee of Post 200, in the 4600 block of Legion Lane, into the building and then forced the employee to open the post's safe. The robber took an undisclosed amount of money and drove off in a car that was waiting outside.

The employee was treated for minor injuries. Anyone with information is urged to call the Westminster barracks of the state police at 410-386-3000.


11 charged with running cigarette smuggling ring

Eleven people have been charged with operating an international cigarette smuggling ring, according to a federal indictment.

Officials have arrested 10, charging them with smuggling, selling and trafficking in millions of counterfeit cigarettes; another man charged in the conspiracy remains at large, officials said.

The suspects, seven of whom operated tobacco companies, are accused of taking cigarettes intended for export and diverting them to American consumers, and distributing counterfeit cigarettes made outside the country, the officials said.

Charged in the indictment are Rubens Cardoso, Charles Emery, Robert Damm, Robert Damm Sr., Stormmy Paul, Roque Silveira, Julio Lopez, Georges Chemali, Carlos Kovalsky, Jun Up Lee and Andre Maman. Lopez is at large in South America, an official said.


Three townhouses burn; all residents escape blaze

Two townhouses were burned out and a third was damaged in a two-alarm fire early yesterday in Perry Hall.

All inhabitants of the homes escaped the 2:45 a.m. blaze before Baltimore County firefighters arrived at the scene on Hickory Nut Court north of White Marsh Boulevard, a Fire Department spokesman said.

The fire started in one home before spreading to two others. The cause of the fire was being investigated.


3-day hot line to answer education-related questions

Starting today, a group of more than 100 school principals and psychologists will operate an information hot line to answer callers' questions about education and children.

The hot line is part of this week's annual meeting of the National Association of Elementary School Principals at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The hot line - 800-944-1601 or online at - will run for three days. Hours are from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. today, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow, and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday.

- Laura Loh

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