Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH

March 23, 2006

Piano teacher's spouse accused of molestation

A Joppa man with a history of sex offense convictions has been charged with the sexual abuse of an 11-year-old boy who waited while a family member took piano lessons from the man's wife, the Harford County state's attorney said yesterday.

David B. Mentzer was charged Tuesday with the sexual abuse of a minor, sexual offense in the third degree and sexual offense in the fourth degree, according to the county state's attorney's office.

In 1987, Mentzer was convicted of a sex offense involving a 14-year-old boy in Harford County, and in 1981, he was convicted of a sex offense in a case in Kentucky, said Diane Adkins-Tobin, an assistant state's attorney with the Harford County Child Advocacy Center.

Mentzer is being held without bond in the Harford County Detention Center, Adkins-Tobin said. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, but the prosecutor said the sentence could be longer if the case is filed under subsequent-offender provisions.

The advocacy center's investigation began when a complaint was filed by the boy's family Monday, Adkins-Tobin said. The child was a piano student of Mentzer's wife, as were his mother and sister, Adkins-Tobin said.

Established in 1993, the center is made up of representatives from the state's attorney's office, Harford County Sheriff's Office, county Department of Social Services and the state police. Each year, the center investigates about 300 cases of alleged sexual abuse of children, Adkins-Tobin said.

Investigators are attempting to interview others who brought their children to the Mentzer residence, Adkins-Tobin said. Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to call the advocacy center at 410-638-3294.

From staff reports

Man accused of posing as pharmacist to sell drugs

A Baltimore man is accused of illegally impersonating a pharmacist and selling restricted drugs without a prescription to customers in the shuttered pharmacy where he once worked, federal prosecutors announced yesterday.

A 12-count grand jury indictment returned Tuesday charges Eze Rankin Inyama, 34, with mail fraud, distribution of a controlled substance and misbranding drugs in connection with an alleged scheme to buy and sell prescription drugs.

According to the indictment, Inyama worked at Star Pharmacy in the 1800 block of Pennsylvania Ave. in West Baltimore. Starting in October 2004, Baltimore police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration investigated allegations that prescriptions were being illegally sold out of Star Pharmacy.

In May 2005, store officials told the Maryland Board of Pharmacy that they were closing that month.

Between May and August of that year, the indictment alleges that Inyama - who according to prosecutors was not a licensed pharmacist - was seen allowing people to enter the closed store. On June 2, 2005, prosecutors say Inyama unlocked the front door, allowed an undercover agent to enter and sold 100 tablets of Clonodine for $50. The drug can be used to ease the symptoms of drug addiction withdrawal.

The indictment also alleges that on May 11 and June 2, 2005, Inyama distributed 90 tablets of Xanax and 100 tablets of Clonodine.

Inyama faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison each count of mail fraud, the most serious charge. His initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore has not been scheduled.

Matthew Dolan

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