State Digest

STATE DIGEST

December 06, 2006

Woman helped issue fake driver's licenses

A car dealership employee admitted in court papers yesterday that she helped secure 162 driver's licenses for applicants who should not have been able to obtain them, federal prosecutors announced.

Ana Maria Lorena Creque, 45, of Adelphi pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt to conspiracy to produce and transfer unlawfully produced Maryland driver's licenses.

According to the plea agreement presented in court, Creque worked for Y2K Auto Sales Inc. in Beltsville, where she prepared paperwork for car titles and tags. Court papers said that in 2005 and 2006, applicants, often illegal immigrants, would pay Creque and others approximately $2,500 to $3,800 to help them obtain Maryland driver's licenses improperly.

Creque, according to prosecutors, directed the applicants to a Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration desk manned by a partner. The MVA employee and three others have been charged as part of the same indictment, but their cases are still pending, according to prosecutors.

Creque faces a maximum prison term of 15 years in prison when she returns to court in April for sentencing.

Matthew Dolan

Maryland

Delaware woman accused of plot to kill her stepmother

A 49-year-old Delaware woman who thought she was hiring a hit man at an Interstate 95 rest stop in Maryland to have her stepmother killed was arrested yesterday, federal prosecutors said. The man was working with law enforcement officers, authorities said.

Lucille Thorn of Newark, Del., was charged with traveling in interstate commerce to commit murder-for-hire, a felony. Court papers filed by prosecutors allege that Thorn solicited an unnamed government informant last month to murder her 83-year-old stepmother in Pennsylvania.

Authorities said Thorn was angry that a $1 million inheritance from her father passed to her stepmother upon the man's death. Thorn met the supposed hit man Nov. 22 at Maryland House in Harford County, according to prosecutors.

She appeared in federal court in Baltimore yesterday afternoon, and a judge ordered her held until her detention hearing tomorrow. If convicted, Thorn could receive a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

Matthew Dolan

Montgomery

Truck collides with school bus in Wheaton; no serious injuries

A dump truck and a school bus carrying 13 children collided yesterday about 10 miles outside Washington, but no one was seriously injured, authorities said.

The children were "bumped around" when the vehicles collided about 8 a.m. on a busy commuter route in Wheaton, said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer. He said investigators do not believe speed was a factor.

Four children who complained of minor pain were taken by ambulance to a hospital, Piringer said. The driver of the dump truck was hospitalized with chest pains.

The remaining children were to be taken by bus to the hospital for precautionary evaluations, Piringer said.

Associated Press

Chesapeake Bay

Md., Va. officials deny threat of parasite to Asian oysters

Maryland and Virginia officials denied yesterday that the oyster parasite Bonamia could doom efforts to introduce Asian oysters into the Chesapeake Bay.

"Our research suggests that if Bonamia became present in the bay, the impact would be likely limited to the lower portions of the bay," said Eugene M. Burreson, a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

A scientist at the institute, Ryan Carnegie, reported recently that the Asian oysters being studied for possible introduction to the Chesapeake had faced "almost total mortality" in experiments when exposed to the parasite Bonamia from the earliest stages of life.

In a statement released yesterday, officials from the two states pointed out that experiments in the bay over the past 10 years have not found Bonamia. If the parasite did become established, the latest findings suggest it would be limited to areas of high salinity, the statement said.

Overharvesting and disease have nearly wiped out the bay's native oyster population. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has proposed introducing Asian oysters to provide watermen with a crop to harvest and to improve bay water quality through the natural filter feeding of the oysters.

Associated Press

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