Man tied to Snitching' DVD indicted in drug case

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

December 13, 2007

Yesterday, a federal grand jury indicted a West Baltimore man who acted as cameraman for the notorious Stop Snitching DVD on drug-related charges.

Akiba M. Matthews, 35, was charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

If convicted on all charges, Matthews faces up to life in prison. At minimum, law enforcement officials said a conviction on the firearms charge by a felon carries a mandatory minimum prison term of five years

No court date has been set for Matthews. Federal authorities said he remains jailed on related state charges. The Baltimore State's Attorney's office said last night that Matthews was charged last month on state drug charges and has been held without bail since then.

In March 2005, city police said they found 198 bags of raw heroin in his bedroom after tracking him down from the video. He was charged with a variety of drug possession crimes but was acquitted by a jury on all counts in October of that year.

Stop Snitching used threats of violence to intimidate potential witnesses. Matthews has served jail time for five felony narcotics convictions and a handgun violation, according to police.

Matthew Dolan

Baltimore

: U.S. District Court

10 years for Harford man in crack case

A 40-year-old Harford County man received a 10-year prison sentence yesterday in federal court for selling crack cocaine.

U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Anthony Peaks of Edgewood to the prison term, followed by five years of supervised release, after Peaks pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

According to the statement of facts presented to the court at his guilty plea, law enforcement agents found seven clear plastic bags containing 84.2 grams of crack cocaine in the eyeglasses holder above the rearview mirror of Peaks' Lexusoutside Gentleman's Gold Club on Pulaski Highway, officials said.

Matthew Dolan

Carroll

: Mount Airy

Man pleads guilty to manslaughter

A Mount Airy man pleaded guilty yesterday to vehicular manslaughter in Carroll County Circuit Court in a case involving the death of a 63-year-old woman this year.

Timothy A. Short, 46, was indicted by a grand jury in July for vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving, negligent driving, speeding and two counts of failure to control speed to avoid a collision, according to Maryland State Police and court records.

In January, Short was driving a Ford Mustang when he hit two vehicles on Route 27 in Mount Airy. A passenger in the second vehicle, Flora M. Snowden, 63, of Mount Airy, died of injuries suffered in the collision, according to court documents and Ted Eyler, an assistant state's attorney.

Before the collision, Short and another driver had been racing along the northbound side of Route 27, Eyler said. Short was traveling at more than 90 mph in the 50-mph zone at the time of the collision, Eyler said.

After sideswiping a Honda CR-V that had pulled in front of his car, Short crossed into the southbound lanes and hit a Ford Focus driven by Snowden's former husband head-on.

Eyler said the state would recommend suspending all but 18 months of the maximum 10 years the felony charge carries.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March.

Arin Gencer

Anne Arundel

: Annapolis

Transit development contracts approved

The state Board of Public Works yesterday approved a pair of contracts that advance transit-oriented development projects.

The board approved an interim $1.2 billion redevelopment plan for the State Center government complex on the edge of downtown Baltimore.

The redevelopment of the 25-acre site, which brings together MARC service, light rail and several bus lines, has been described as the largest single-site project in Baltimore since the revitalization of the Inner Harbor. The agreement the state signed is with a consortium led by the Baltimore firm of Struever Brothers Eccles & Rouse.

Also approved was a $200 million development plan - including office, retail and residential construction - around the MARC station on the Camden Line at Savage in eastern Howard County. The state's development partner on the project is Petrie Ross Ventures of Annapolis.

Gov. Martin O'Malley said the two projects, which join an earlier transit-oriented development plan at Owings Mills, are the first of many planned around the state. He said transit-oriented projects, which cluster mixed-used development around mass transit stops, are part of the state's Smart Growth strategy.

Michael Dresser

Baltimore

: Grant

Toyota USA helps aquarium, schools

The Toyota USA Foundation yesterday gave the National Aquarium in Baltimore a grant of more than $464,000 to help its education programs at the aquarium and in Maryland schools. The grant will also allow the aquarium to continue its AquaPartners program with more than 1,500 fourth- and fifth-graders in city schools.

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