City teenager dies day after being shot
A 17-year old Northwest Baltimore youth died Wednesday after he was shot by an unidentified gunman, city police reported yesterday.
Richard Stuckey of the 5700 block of Simmonds Ave. died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Police said Stuckey was walking with two other youths Tuesday night in the 1100 block of N. Ellamont St. in West Baltimore when a gunman shot him in the head and upper body.
Stuckey was the city's 49th homicide victim this year and the ninth person younger than 20 to die by gun violence in 2007, according to police figures. Last year at this time, the city had recorded 50 homicides, with 10 victims younger than 20.
Gus G. Sentementes
Man admits false tax claims
A former Social Security Administration employee pleaded guilty yesterday to eight counts of false claims as part of an effort to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Joel Edwards, 45, of Baltimore admitted that between 2000 and 2004, he obtained the names, birth dates and Social Security numbers for children whose parents did not intend to claim them as dependents on tax returns, according to federal prosecutors. Edwards then sold the information to others - including several who were also Social Security Administration employees - for about $800 per dependent.
Edwards prepared the tax returns for the people who bought the information on the dependents. The people paid Edwards part of the $800 in advance, and the rest after their receiving tax refunds. In his guilty plea, Edwards acknowledged falsely claiming a dependent on his tax returns in 2000, 2001 and 2002, federal prosecutors said.
The scheme cost the government $26,320 in false refunds, prosecutors said.
Edwards faces a maximum of five years in prison at sentencing, set for May 23.
Guilty plea in gun trafficking
An Indonesian man pleaded guilty yesterday in Baltimore's U.S. District Court to charges related to trying to export banned military weapons to the Tamil Tigers rebels in Sri Lanka, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Haji Subandi, 69, pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, as well as two counts of money laundering and the attempted exportation of arms and munitions, federal prosecutors said.
Subandi had been arrested in September with five other suspected arms dealers after an elaborate sting operation. As part of the sting, alleged representatives of the Tamil Tigers deposited $700,000 with undercover agents as a down payment for millions of dollars in sniper rifles, submachine guns and grenade launchers, officials say.
"We are committed to using all available legal tools to prevent terrorism, including undercover operations targeting people who attempt to obtain military weapons in violation of American law," Maryland's U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement.
Three of the other men arrested with Subandi have pleaded guilty, and the other two are scheduled for trial in May.
U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake scheduled Subandi's sentencing for June 15. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison for the conspiracy charge, 20 years for each of two money-laundering charges and 10 years for the attempted exportation of arms, according to federal prosecutors.
12-year cocaine sentence
A Northwest Baltimore cocaine distributor who was part of a large narcotics-trafficking enterprise and plied his trade for a decade was sentenced yesterday to more than 12 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.
From 1995 to 2005, Chet Pajardo, 38, of Baltimore supplied more than 150 kilograms of cocaine to street-level dealers, Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said.
Michael Felder, 41, of Cockeysville and Baltimore brothers Howard and Raeshio Rice were sentenced to 10 years in prison each for their roles in the drug ring.
After serving his prison sentence, Pajardo, who was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, must undergo five years of court supervision.
Man sentenced in killing
A judge in Baltimore Circuit Court sentenced a 20-year-old city man yesterday to 18 years in prison after he reached an agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
The defendant, Steven Lee of the 2100 block of Frederick Ave., admitted shooting Edward Brown in the 1300 block of Mosher St. in West Baltimore on Jan. 5 last year, according to the city state's attorney's office.
Baltimore Circuit Judge John M. Glynn pronounced sentence.