Man, 24, shot to death on city's west side

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

January 26, 2008

A 24-year-old man was fatally shot yesterday in West Baltimore, becoming the city's 12th homicide victim of the year, city police said.

Police responding to a reported shooting about 4:30 p.m. found the man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the back at Lafayette Avenue and Payson Street, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman. The man was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he died several hours later. His identity was not available, but police were searching for the shooter.

Earlier yesterday, another man was found shot in the head in the 900 block of Pennsylvania Ave., also in West Baltimore. He was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m.

Baltimore

: Fells Point

Drug gang leader gets 10-year term

The female leader of a drug gang operating in Fells Point was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in federal prison after she pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing crack cocaine in the waterfront community from November 2005 through December 2006, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Vanessa Ruiz, 22, of Baltimore delivered cocaine to drug customers and three times sold the drug to a federal undercover drug agent, prosecutors said. Two other leaders, Humberto Gasca, 35, and his wife, Josefina Quinonez, 41, of Colorado, pleaded guilty to the drug charges Nov. 2 and were sentenced to 13 and 10 years respectively.

Prosecutors said that 14 defendants linked to the drug ring have pleaded guilty. Ruiz was deemed a career offender because of previous convictions in state court for robbery and drug distribution, prosecutors said.

Anne Arundel

: Prison sentence

Man robbed bank twice, gets six years

A 37-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced yesterday to six years in federal prison for twice robbing the same branch of an Anne Arundel County bank in February last year, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Anthony Leon Peters pleaded guilty to robbing the Wachovia Bank on Quarterfield Road in Severn on Feb. 1, prosecutors said. They said Peters returned to the same bank Feb. 21 and robbed it of $1,000.

Annapolis

Reconsider lawsuit, GOP asks court

Republican lawmakers who unsuccessfully sued to invalidate recent tax increases asked the state's highest court yesterday to reconsider the lawsuit, their attorney said.

A Carroll Circuit Court judge dismissed the suit this month but criticized Democratic leaders for "failing to abide by constitutionally mandated procedures" during the special legislative session, during which the tax package was passed.

In his filing with the Court of Appeals, the plaintiffs' attorney, Irwin Kramer, argues that the high court should take up the case to resolve constitutional questions raised by the lawsuit.

Part of the lawsuit centered on whether the House properly consented, as is required in the Maryland Constitution, to a five-day adjournment by the Senate during the session.

Gadi Dechter

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