FREDERICK, MD – Frederick County ranked #4 out of all Maryland counties for highest conviction rate of DUI cases in 2017, according to newly released statistics from the National Study Center of the University of Maryland. State’s Attorney Charlie Smith reacted, “These numbers show the importance we place on making our roads safe in Frederick County. Far too many people lose loved ones to drunk driving. Our prosecutors remain committed to aggressively pursuing these cases.” The study found that in 88.57% of cases, the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office succeeded in gaining a conviction. This latest achievement follows four previous years in which the conviction rates were 85.25, 86.20, 86.32 and 87.64. In state-wide rankings, Frederick was tied for 4th in 2017, 7th, 9th, 8th and 3rd respectively. In all, 905 people were arrested for impaired driving in Frederick County during calendar year 2017. Of those, 109 cases were either still open for one reason or another or were Abated by Death. That left a total number of net cases disposed of at 796 out of the original 905. Of the 796, there were 174 Guilty findings and an additional 531 PBJ’s for a total of 705 “positive” outcomes. For statistical purposes, a “Probation Before Judgement” was considered a conviction.
The Frederick State’s Attorney’s Office was honored to host a delegation from Mongolia today. The group came as part of the IJET program. The International Justice Sector Education and Training (IJET) Fellowship is a program that brings small groups of justice sector professionals to the U.S. for month long programs to empower them to become agents of change in their countries. State’s Attorney Charlie Smith and Chief Counsel Joyce King covered many topics including specialty courts, sentencing guidelines, plea negotiations, and structure of a State’s Attorney’s office.
Yesterday in Annapolis, Gov. Larry Hogan signed SB 736/HB1027. The new legislation is a “prohibition against possessing, distributing, and creating child pornography; prohibiting a person from knowingly possessing and intentionally retaining a certain representation showing a computer-generated image that is indistinguishable from an actual and identifiable child under the age of 16 years portrayed in a certain manner; defining “indistinguishable from an actual child”; and applying certain penalties. The new legislation expands the current child porn laws to include the prohibition of child erotica.
This bill was formulated as a direct response to the growing issue of computer-generated child pornography in recent years.
Chief Counsel for the Frederick SAO, Joyce King, played an integral role in helping to shape this piece of legislation. She joined legislators yesterday for the bill signing.
Photo Courtesy: Executive Office of the Governor
FREDERICK- Melvin Alfaro, 35, of Frederick, MD was sentenced today by the Honorable Theresa Adams for violently beating his fiancé in June of 2018. He pled guilty in January, 2019 to the sole count of 1st degree assault. He was sentenced today to 25 years, suspending all but 7 years in the Division of Correction. Upon his release, he will be on 5 years of supervised probation.
On June 24, 2018, Frederick City Police were called to the 1800 Blk. of Pinecroft Court for a domestic assault. They encountered the Victim with significant injuries to her face and body. Mr. Alfaro, her fiancé, was identified as her attacker. The Defendant admitted to the police that he had assaulted her because he felt that she had ‘disrespected him.’
The Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office encourages anyone experiencing domestic violence to seek help, if you are in immediate danger, dial 911. For additional help and resources, contact Heartly House at 301-662-8800. Heartly House provides comprehensive services for victims and survivors of intimate partner abuse, rape/sexual assault, and child abuse.
The State was represented by Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Engler.
FREDERICK- Joshua David Scalera, 36, of Monrovia, MD pled guilty on April 22nd to 4 counts of possession of child pornography. The charges came as the result of the execution of a search and seizure warrant in early 2018. He received a total sentence of 20 years in the Maryland Division of Corrections, with all but 18 months suspended. Prior to this offense, the defendant had no criminal record. In favor of the suspended portion of the sentence, the defendant was put on 3 years of supervised probation, and ordered to continue counseling and required by statute to register as a sex offender for 15 years. The investigation began in 2016 by the Maryland State Police following a cyber-tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
FREDERICK- The State’s Attorney’s Office indicted Rudolph Jericho Smith, age 36, of Frederick, with Four Counts of First Degree Assault, Four Counts of Reckless Endangerment, and Four Counts of Knowingly Transmitting HIV. The Frederick Police Department began an investigation into Rudolph Smith during the summer of 2017, when separate women disclosed their belief that Rudolph Smith had infected them with HIV. Frederick Police investigated and through witness interviews, established that Rudolph Smith was aware of his HIV-positive status as of 2014. They executed a search warrant for Mr. Smith’s blood, and determined that he was HIV positive. Detective David Dewees confirmed with Mr. Smith after the search warrant, that he was in-fact HIV positive. Following that conversation, Frederick Police Department became aware that the Defendant continued to meet women on dating sites and have unprotected sexual relations with them without disclosing his diagnosis.
The defendant was granted a bond over the State’s objection, and is currently being held on $100,000 at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center.
FREDERICK – On March 21, 2019, Daniel Ennos, the instigator in the April 8th 2018 riot at the Victor Cullen Center in Sabillasville, pled guilty, thus canceling his jury trial scheduled to begin in April. Ennos appeared before Judge Theresa M. Adams and pled guilty to two counts of Second Degree Assault on staff members and was sentenced to 349 days, time served since April 8, 2018 on those counts. He also pled guilty to Riot and was sentenced to six years in the Division of Corrections to begin immediately, with this sentence consecutive to the other incarceration. The sentence was agreed to by the State and the Defendant. There were at least 10 staff members injured during the riot.
The April 8, 2018 incident occurred at the Victor Cullen Center located on Cullen Drive, in Frederick County, MD. The Victor Cullen Center is a hardware secure, behavior modification facility that provides counseling, education and behavior modification for juveniles. The situation began when Ennos and another youth were fighting. Ennos choked the other until he turned blue. When told that he was going to get written up, Ennos got belligerent. He shoved a staff member and then pushed a staff member to the ground. Defendant and his attorney repeatedly claimed in court that it was a violation of policy for Ennos to get written up for this behavior, thus trying to justify Ennos’ actions. Even after Ennos had assaulted staff, the other staff members attempted to work with him and the others for over an hour, before attempting to use any restraints. After an hour, the Superintendent directed staff to bring handcuffs and if the youth didn’t comply to cuff them and bring them to separate areas. When staff members walked in, co-defendant Bernard Moore hit a staff member from behind. The other youth then began to attack the staff closest to them. The Defendant Daniel Ennos got a male staff member onto the ground and held him in a headlock, choking him. Later Ennos is captured on the video attacking a female staff member. She was in the corner of a room, trying to protect a staff member who had been injured. The State introduced into evidence photographs of this Defendant jumping high into the air, fist pumped, and crashing down upon her. The victim reported that after Ennos struck her she went unconscious briefly. She suffered a broken orbital socket, and for almost a year now has been suffering with on-going injury to her eye.
Multiple police agencies responded to the 911 calls for help from the staff. The Maryland State Police was able to get the facility back under control, and the victims were transported for medical treatment.
Eight residents were charged with injuring staff during this riot, all to differing degrees; All eight have now pled guilty in Adult Court for their roles in the riot. The Frederick County Circuit Court has independently reviewed and then granted the State’s request in each of the eight cases to have these defendants tried as adults. The video of the incident and statements of the employees made clear that these employees did everything they could do to deescalate this situation. Even after Ennos assaulted them, the staff members tried to work with him and not put him in cuffs. Because they didn’t like the behavioral consequences given to them, these eight defendants acted in concert to injure 10 staff members. These staff were just following directions, doing their job, and this incident has changed all of them— some of them physically forever but all of them emotionally. One employee who had worked with youth for years, still can’t return because of the PTSD symptoms; others suffer from those symptoms but eventually had to return to earn a living. Defense Counsel repeatedly blamed the staff for the incident, but rulings in the courtroom and the adult jail sentences for each and every one of those involved demonstrate that blame lies solely on the defendants.
The State was represented by Chief Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Corbett Wilt.
J. Charles Smith, III
State’s Attorney for Frederick County, Maryland
On March 12, 2019, the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office provided training to Uzbekistan prosecutors through the American Bar Association- Rule of Law Initiative’s International Justice Sector Education and Training (IJET) Program. The training focused on case management, task forces, crime prevention, diversion programs, and targeted training for prosecutors and law enforcement.
The IJET Program brings a small group of justice sector professionals to the United States for a month-long fellowship. The objective is to empower IJET Fellows to become agents of change for institutional or systemic reform in their country’s justice system. Each IJET Fellowship follows a highly tailored, structured model that includes a combination of seminars and training, peer-to-peer exchange, institutional visits, and an embedded mentorship with a leading U.S. professional. In addition to subject-matter experts, IJET Fellows work with experts in change management, outreach, and administration of justice to develop strategic, sustainable change plans that will create lasting impact. IJET is supported by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (State/INL).
FREDERICK- March 11, 2019, Christopher Jackson, 29, of Silver Spring, MD appeared before the Honorable Judge Mary E. McCormick and entered guilty pleas to Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Possession of Firearm With Felony Conviction. The defendant was sentenced to a total of 35 years in the Division of Corrections, with all but 10 years suspended. Upon release, he will be placed on 5 years supervised probation.
On October 2, 2018, an Officer observed two vehicles in a parking lot while conducting a business check in the area of the Taco Bell on West Patrick Street. As the Officer approached one of the vehicles, he detected a strong odor of unburned marijuana coming from the driver and the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was identified as the defendant. A baggie containing .5 grams of cocaine was found on the Defendant’s person. A search of the vehicle resulted in a total of 5.8 grams of heroin, 19.1 grams of cocaine, 21 Adderall pills, 64.5 grams of phencyclidine (PCP), 14.4 grams of marijuana, a digital scale, a loaded 9mm handgun, and $2,236 in cash being seized. The Defendant is prohibited from possessing a firearm.
The State was represented by Assistant State’s Attorney Amanda Leatherman.
J. Charles Smith, III
State’s Attorney for Frederick County, Maryland
FREDERICK – Abiathar Vance, 41, of Washington, DC appeared before Judge Theresa M. Adams and was sentenced to a total of 50 years in the Division of Corrections, with all but 25 years suspended. Upon completion of his sentence, the defendant will be placed on 5 years supervised probation, with the conditions of registering as a Tier II sex offender and having no contact with any named victim.
On December 3, 2018, Abiathar Vance entered a guilty plea to 2 counts of Human Trafficking of a Minor and 1 count of Human Trafficking. Judge Adams ordered a pre-sentence investigation at that time.
On December 30, 2017, Frederick Police Department Officers responded to the McDonald’s on Jefferson Street in reference to a reported abduction. Officers made contact with the defendant and the 16 year old victim who had previously been reported missing for two months. During a later interview the victim advised that she met the defendant Vance and co-defendant Luis Privado in August of 2017 at Union Station. Vance induced the victim into becoming an escort. She described the “dates” as having sex for money. Vance arranged for the hotel rooms, clients and received the proceeds. Privado also arranged for hotel rooms, drove the victim and Vance from DC to Frederick, and provided a rental car for Vance to use to transport the victim while in Frederick. A second adult victim was later identified by law enforcement. She indicated that she met the defendant through a craigslist ad soliciting strippers to work at a strip club. When she arrived in Frederick she realized that there was no strip club and was induced to engage in escorting. She advised that the defendant arranged all of the dates and took half of the proceeds.
The State was represented by Assistant State’s Attorney Lindsey Carpenter.
J. Charles Smith, III
State’s Attorney for Frederick County, Maryland