Digest

August 31, 2007

Disc jockey is convicted on federal drug charges

A disc jockey at Baltimore clubs who is linked to a major narcotics dealer has been convicted by a jury on drug distribution charges in U.S. District Court, federal prosecutors said yesterday. He was acquitted of a charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Darnell Anthony Young, 30, of Owings Mills, could receive a maximum of 40 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 15, prosecutors said. Authorities have said in court that Young - known as "DJ Nelly Nell" - worked with two brothers, Howard and Raeshio Rice, the former leaders of a violent drug gang, who are serving 30-year and 27-year prison sentences, respectively.

Prosecutors said Young was arrested after an undercover officer spotted him coming out of a house linked to the Rice organization with cell phones and a bag containing $39,000. A search of Young's home turned up cocaine hidden in a washing machine, prosecutors said.

Five days ago, a reputed hit man for the organization, Eric Hall, 35, pleaded guilty to racketeering and murder charges. Several other people have also pleaded guilty or been convicted.

The Rice brothers admitted in court last year that they imported more than 100 kilograms of cocaine and heroin from the East and West coasts between 1995 and 2004, sold the drugs to dealers on the streets and used the money to invest in nightclubs.

Some of the organization's members sold drugs in Park Heights but lived in suburban communities.

Baltimore

: West side

Three shot, one in serious condition

Three people were shot late last night on a street in West Baltimore, and one victime was reported in serious condition. Homicide detectives and Southwestern District were investigating the shootings.

Police found three people bleeding from gunshot wounds about 10 p.m. in the 3000 block of Normount Court in Rosemont.

One victim was shot in the head and taken by ambulance to Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The other two, one shot in the back and the other in the stomach, were taken to Sinai Hospital. Their conditions were not available.

About the same time as the Normont Court shootings, a man who was shot in the leg arrived at the emergency room at St. Agnes Hospital. It was not known whether he was involved in the multiple shooting, police said.

Richard Irwin

Federal court

Ex-officer sentenced in child porn case

A federal judge sentenced a former Army lieutenant colonel yesterday to five years in federal prison and 25 years of supervised release for possessing child pornography, according to the Maryland U.S. attorney's office.

Steve Miller, 46, of Odenton came to the attention of FBI agents after he attempted to download a file to his computer that had been advertised as having photographs of "minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct," prosecutors said in a statement.

The prosecutors said the file Miller attempted to download was on an FBI computer and did not actually contain pornography. The FBI tracked Miller using his computer's unique Internet protocol, or IP address.

Agents searched Miller's home and his computer, where they found 150 images of child pornography, "including images of prepubescent minors engaged in sexual activity," according to the news release.

Annie Linskey

Security

Region receives $11.9 million grant

Mayor Sheila Dixon announced yesterday that the Baltimore region will receive a $11.9 million federal homeland security grant for police cameras, radios, equipment for bomb squads and chemical and biological detection devices. Funds can also be used for training for police officers, firefighters and paramedics.

Fire Chief William J. Goodwin Jr. led the effort to prepare the grant application. "We were in the midst of many tragedies this year, which could have been distracting ... but we remained focused," Goodwin said.

The Baltimore area has received about $59 million in homeland security funding since 2003, according to the mayor's office.

Acting police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III also attended the news conference.

Annie Linskey

North side

Decomposed body found in Jones Falls

A badly decomposed body was found yesterday afternoon in the Jones Falls near Chestnut Avenue in Hampden and was taken to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy and possible identification, police said.

About 3 p.m., police received a 911 call about a body in the water off the 3000 block of Falls Road. Northern District police and homicide detectives were dispatched to the scene, police said.

Police said the death has been ruled suspicious pending the autopsy results.

Richard Irwin

Zoo

Camel rides end for season Monday

Monday will end this year's season for camel rides at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Rides on the zoo's two camels - Gunther, 8 and Marie, 4 - take place in the zoo's camel yard. Each ride costs $4.

Camel rides are seasonal and will be offered again next year, zoo officials said.

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