Tag Archives: Maryland

MS-13 gang member sentenced to 40 years for brutal killing of 15-year-old girl

From Fox News: A female member of MS-13 was sentenced to 40 years in prison Friday in the brutal killing of a 15-year-old girl.

Venus Romero Iraheta, 18, was convicted of murder in January 2018 in the 2017 slaying of Damaris Reyes Rivas.

She pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, abduction and criminal street participation earlier this year at the court Fairfax County, Virginia.

Prosecutors said Iraheta was one of the 10 MS-13 members and associates who met Damaris at Lake Accotink Park in Fairfax County, seeking revenge for the murder of her boyfriend, Christian Sosa Rivas. Reyes Rivas was a student at Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Earlier this year, an interrogation video recorded on Valentine’s Day 2017 showing her confessing to the crime.

Through a translator, Iraheta said she told Reyes Rivas: “‘You’re going to remember me until the day we see each other in hell. Don’t forget my name.’ And I told her my full name and I told her my nickname. And I told it to her and I told her to never forget who I was. I told her, ‘Someday, we were going to see each other again.’”

When an officer asked what happened next, Iraheta replied in English: “I killed her.”

Iraheta said she stabbed Reyes Rivas about 13 times with a knife and sliced off one of her tattoos. The Washington Post reported another MS-13 associated stabbed her with a tree branch. The brutal slaying was recorded on a cellphone video and the court was shown the footage. Her body was eventually discovered after it was dumped under a highway overpass on the outskirts of Washington, D.C.

Maria Reyes, Reyes Rivas’ mother, told Iraheta in court Friday that the woman “destroyed” her life, the Washington Post reported.

“I want to say to this young lady that she destroyed my life. She destroyed the life of my daughter. She didn’t owe anything to you,” she told Iraheta through a translator. “My daughter is not in hell, as she said. She’s in heaven. She has shown me that in my dreams. . . . Hell will be lived by you, not by her.”

NBC Washington reported Iraheta cried in court, saying she would “give my life to bring her back. I am sorry.”

DCG

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High school football player’s National Anthem goes viral: “I’m proud of my country”

I predict a promising career for this young man.

From Fox News: A Maryland high school football player’s unique version of the national anthem is going viral.

Jackson Dean wowed the crowd last weekend by singing his country rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” while playing the guitar.

The defensive end played a stripped-down version of the anthem before his teammates burst through a banner at the end of the tune.

Dean plays for Arundel High School and said Saturday on Fox & Friends that the amount of attention he’s getting is “very awesome.”

Videos of the senior’s performance are racking up hundreds of thousands of views on Facebook and YouTube.

“I’m an American, and I’m proud of my country,” he said on Saturday.

Dean added that once he graduates from high school, he’ll be hitting the road and performing. “We’ve got some things in the pocket that have been working that I can’t really talk about,” he said.

DCG

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Progressive Baltimore: Guess the value of the school district’s maintenance backlog

Baltimore City Schools CEO Santelises: fighting a losing battle…

In March this year, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh authorized spending $100,000 to send 60 buses full of kids to the “March for Our Lives” anti-gun rally in DC.

Many noted at the time that the school district had a $130 MILLION budget deficit last year so the last thing they needed to be doing was wasting money to indoctrinate students against the Second Amendment. Yet the mayor persisted.

So along with a budget deficit, take a wild guess as to what the value is of the school’s maintenance backlog! Take a guess then guess again. Ready for the value?

According to the Baltimore Sun, the total value of the school district’s maintenance backlog is nearly $3 BILLION. That’s more than double the district’s annual operating budget.

More from the Sun’s report:

“We do have the oldest school buildings in the state of Maryland. That can’t change from a quip or from a magic wand,” says city schools CEO Sonja Santelises. Addressing the backlog in repairs, she says, is “not going to happen overnight.”

It’s become a back-to-school tradition for politicians and community members to decry the lack of adequate air conditioning in Baltimore classrooms. The conditions, which forced dozens of schools to close early during the sweaty first days of the school year, led Gov. Larry Hogan and Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot to demand that all city schools be outfitted with AC in the next few years. That’s meant funding for air conditioning has taken precedence over other pressing projects.

The Baltimore school board approved a report this month that lays out the city’s complex needs. The 2018-2019 Comprehensive Maintenance Plan is clear: After decades of underinvestment, the city school system needs a dramatic infusion of money before its school buildings have a chance at being up to par.”

Read the whole Sun story here.

Granted, this financial crisis didn’t start under CEO Santelises. According to Wikipedia, the crisis was first discovered in 2003 where it was believed they had a deficit of anywhere from $54 to 64 million. The district budget has been accused of having many errors and was not being monitored carefully.

And the school’s budget deficit has continued to climb to $130 million since 2003. This deficit, combined with the $3 BILLION maintenance backlog, equals a number that is more than the projected budget deficit of some 20 states.

Good luck Baltimore, you’re going to need it, along with some serious fiscal discipline.

DCG

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Trapped & defenseless: Baltimore home-invasion victims waited 14 minutes for police

Do tell gun grabbers: Why do you want to strip citizens of their Second Amendment right, leaving victims helpless while at the mercy of slow-responding police?

From Fox Baltimore: As Baltimore Police scrambled to the scenes of shootings early Saturday morning, two young females and a 2-year-old boy were trapped on a rooftop.

Shannon Gaasch says she had just gone to bed when she heard the sound of glass shattering.  Someone had thrown a brick through her friend’s door and were inside the house.

Immediately, the homeowner grabbed her son and ran to the room where Shannon was sleeping. Trapped on the second floor, the three had only a rooftop run to.

For nearly 15 minutes, Gaasch was on the phone with 911.

During the call, Gaasch said: “I keep telling the dispatcher, ‘They’re still in the house, they’re still in the house. Where are the cops? We need them here. We have nowhere to go.”’

At one point, Gaasch could hear sirens off in the distance. The dispatcher tells Gaasch they’re responding to another call.

While Baltimore police say an officer arrived to the house a minute after the call was dispatched, phone records show Gaasch was on the phone with 911 for 14 minutes. Online 911 data posted by the City of Baltimore shows an initial call received at 2:15 a.m. from the Highlandtown address.

FOX45 has yet to receive records requested from the City of Baltimore that could offer some insight on why it took 15 minutes to respond.

DCG

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Bloomberg foundation gives $5M to Baltimore to "fight crime"

jack young baltimore

Baltimore council president Jack Young


As of December 3, Baltimore had 322 homicides, with 280 of those caused by a shooting. This occurs despite having very strict gun laws.
And the shootings occur despite having over 600 cameras to “make a person think twice before they do something.” Apparently installing 60 more cameras throughout the city will somehow “bring out a lot of crime.”
I wonder why Bloomberg is throwing so much money at a cause that will have minimal results.
From MyFoxBaltimore: Mayor Catherine Pugh announced Sunday $5 million in funds to help fight crime. “I’m very grateful for Bloomberg Philanthropies for reading the Violence Reduction Plan, for understanding what we need in order to make this city safe,” Mayor Pugh said.
Bloomberg Philanthropies, a charity of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, awarded Baltimore the grant, which will fund 60 new CCTV “Citiwatch” cameras, 25 mobile licence plate readers and expand gunshot detection coverage by 10 square miles.
“It will make a person think twice before they do something. You see, people don’t think twice because there aren’t any cameras around,” William Goode of West Baltimore said. “It will help it a lot. It will bring out a lot of crime.
The city already has more than 600 Citiwatch cameras, according to Open Baltimore. BPD and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice will decide where those cameras will go.
“Five million dollars on cameras?” a man named “Tony” asked Fox45 Sunday. “You can put $5 million on so many things in this city that would help this city for real, and you’re gonna use cameras?”
In a press release, the grant was met with optimism from City Council President Jack Young.
“One of the most common requests I receive from my constituents is for more vigilance and more cameras in our neighborhoods,” said Council President Jack Young (a 21-year veteran of the council). “I’m extremely pleased to see the City directing resources to tools that have demonstrated success in keeping communities safe.”
DCG

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Sanctuary policy allows them in: MS-13 gang decapitate and stab victim 100 times, heart ripped out

ms-13
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, Montgomery County, Maryland is a sanctuary county.
MS-13 has a heavy presence in Montgomery County. Gee, I wonder why…
From NY Post: A man murdered earlier this year by the MS-13 street gang was stabbed more than 100 times, decapitated and had his heart torn out of his chest and buried with him, Maryland authorities said Wednesday.
Montgomery County Police said one of the alleged killers, 19-year-old Miguel Angel Lopez-Abrego, was arrested Nov. 11 in North Carolina. Lopez-Abrego, known as “Timido,” has been charged with first-degree murder and was ordered held without bond after his first court appearance.
According to court documents, which cited interviews with a gang informant, up to ten MS-13 members planned to lure the victim to the Silver Spring park where he was killed sometime this past spring.
The documents allege that Lopez-Abrego helped dig the grave where the victim was found, and also used a walkie-talkie to alert the other gang members to the victim’s arrival. The informant also claimed Lopez-Abrego was the first to attack the victim, stabbing him with a 15-inch knife.
The informant led police to the grave on Sept. 5 and “detailed the choking, stabbing, decapitating and dismembering [of] the Victim’s body,” according to a police affidavit. The documents do not give a motive for the killing.
The victim has yet to be conclusively identified. Police describe him as a Hispanic male standing approximately 5 feet, 2 inches high and weighing approximately 126 pounds. He had short, dark brown hair and a missing lower tooth that may have been noticeable when he was speaking or smiling.
After the victim’s body was found in September, police released photos of the clothes and rosary he was wearing when he was killed. They included a sweatshirt with the words “First United Methodist Church Laurel, Maryland” written on the left chest.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Montgomery County Police Department’s Major Crimes Division at (240) 773-5070.
DCG

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College Park, MD votes to let non-US citizens vote in local elections

college park city council

College Park City Council: Betrayers of the US Constitution


I reported how the city council was contemplating this decision back in August. Now they’ve made it a “right”for illegal aliens to vote. How progressive!
From Fox5DC: The College Park City Council has voted in favor of a measure that would allow city residents who are not U.S. citizens to vote in local elections. College Park joins six other towns in allowing legal permanent residents and undocumented immigrants (also known as illegal aliens) to vote in municipal elections.
The council’s vote on this issue was supposed to happen back in August, but it was postponed due to threats made to council members over the proposal.
It was a very contentious debate inside College Park City Hall as almost two dozen people signed up to speak on the matter during Tuesday night’s meeting. One man against the proposal came to the podium saying he was called a Nazi while waiting in line to voice his opinion.
The reality is allowing all people to vote in municipal elections is going to make College Park more inclusive, and that has been the history of voting rights expansion in the United States and what has happened in our neighbors in Maryland who have expanded voting rights to non-U.S. citizens,” said Todd Larson, who is in favor of the proposal.
“Although you come up here and you say that there are hundreds of citizens and residents of College Park that are for this charter, I can tell you that there are thousands against it,” said Beth DeBosky, who is against non-citizen voting. “Voting is a right of the citizens. It’s plain and clear. It’s constitutional. It’s also written at the state level and it also belongs at the local level.”
Later into the meeting, a council member proposed a new amendment that would only allow green card holders to vote and exclude undocumented immigrants illegal aliens. However, the vote on the green card amendment failed.
DCG

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Baltimore lawmaker's grandson killed in Labor Day weekend violence

talmadge branch

Lawmaker Talmadge Branch loses his grandson


Baltimore has a serious murder problem.
The residents of Baltimore recently begged for a “Don’t kill anybody weekend” which resulted in three people being shot, two of them fatally. Seven people were killed over Labor Day weekend. There have now been 242 homicides in the city in 2017, a near historic pace.
Lawmaker Talmadge Branch has been in office since 1995, representing the 45th legislative district. In 2013, he supported major gun control measures that included banning assault weapons, requiring people who buy handguns to provide their fingerprints and limiting gun magazines to 10 bullets. At the time he was quoted as saying the following (via Fox News):
“Delegate Talmadge Branch, D-Baltimore, told lawmakers how Baltimore legislators regularly attend funerals of people who are gunned down. He described a calendar that sometimes included two funerals a week or two a month. 
“We don’t have a need for an assault rifle in the city of Baltimore,” Branch said. “We don’t have that kind of need, and we don’t need guns on the street that are unlicensed, and we don’t need guns on the street that are actually killing people.” 
With all due respect sir, the guns aren’t actually killing people. It’s the people holding the guns who are killing people.
Now the gun violence has hit home especially close for this lawmaker. Sadly, murders will continue until lawmakers address the root cause of people killing people in that city.
From CBS Baltimore: A man killed in a shooting Monday is reportedly the grandson of Maryland House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch, according to our media partner The Baltimore Sun.
Branch said his grandson Tyrone is Baltimore’s latest murder victim, and the veteran lawmaker pleaded for the city’s gun violence to stop.
Three hours after the young man’s death, The Sun says Branch said that the city’s violence “touched my family now.”
Tyrone is reportedly the oldest child of Branch’s daughter.
Baltimore Police say the shooting happened around 12:30 p.m. at the 4200 block of Nicholas Ave.  Responding officers found the 22-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds.
The victim was taken to a hospital, where he died a short time after arriving.
Police say the victim was reportedly was talking with two unknown suspects, when they opened fire on him, and left in a white vehicle after the shooting.
Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at (410) 396-2100, Metro crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP, or text a tip to (443)902-4824.
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"Don't kill anybody": Murder-free weekend urged in Baltimore

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh
It’s come to this: Wearing t-shirts begging folks not to kill. Mayor Catherine Pugh and former mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake must be so proud.
From MSN: A 44-year-old mother might seem an unusual visitor on the drug corners of Baltimore, but Erricka Bridgeford has stopped by them for weeks to make her pitch for peace.
Forget your grudges for one weekend, she urges the young men she finds. Help bring a 72-hour truce to a city besieged by gun violence. “It’s a city-wide call,” she tells them, “but I’m talking to you.”
Bridgeford and other neighborhood leaders are drumming up support for the three-day ceasefire to quell Baltimore’s violence on the first weekend of August. She admits, however, that such peace is a tall order for a city that’s seen 188 killings this year.
Organizers aim to stop the shooting from Friday, Aug. 4 through Sunday, Aug. 6 with a unified and blunt message: “Nobody kill anybody.”
Their message has been printed on T-shirts and fliers. They designed a website and held community meetings. More than 1,600 people visited their Facebook page. The grassroots campaign has swelled since it began in May.
“I’ve seen the momentum build over the past several weeks,” said T.J. Smith, spokesman for Baltimore police. “We are all in this together and we’re 1,000 percent supportive of the efforts.”
The campaign urges people to put aside their guns and join weekend events for healing, from a peace rally Friday evening to a vigil Sunday where participants will read the names of every person killed in 2017.
“The Baltimore Ceasefire was not declared by any one organization,” organizers wrote on their website. “This ceasefire is the product of Baltimore residents not only being exhausted by homicides, but believing that Baltimore can have a murder-free weekend if everyone takes responsibility.”
More than 600 people have pledged to keep the peace, they wrote. Among them are some of the young men Bridgeford has met on the corners. “You just talk to them like they’re your little brother,” she said.
A professional mediator, neighborhood volunteer and part-time Uber driver — “Everyone who gets in my car leaves with a flyer and a speech” — Bridgeford’s own younger brother was gunned down a decade ago in Southwest Baltimore. His killer was never caught.
Next month’s ceasefire would prove successful if it deters a single shooting, she said. And she figured the movement has already saved a life somewhere. “Somebody was plotting on this weekend,” she said. “Now they’re not going to do it because of a rumbling in their soul.”
The organizers are raising money through their website for more fliers. Some of the money will be donated to the families of anyone killed over the ceasefire weekend. Bridgeford is urging everyone she meets to echo the call for peace. “Jumping out in open-air drug markets might not be for everyone,” she said. “But we’re asking everyone to do their part.”
Community ceasefires, however, have failed to stem the violence in the past. The group Mothers of Murdered Sons called for a ceasefire over Mother’s Day weekend, but at least four people were shot, including a 59-year-old man and 17-year-old woman; both were killed.
Other communities have called for ceasefires after spates of violence in Birmingham, Ala. and Berkeley, Calif., and such efforts are as much about empowering residents as reducing homicide statistics, said Cassandra Crifasi, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins-Baltimore Collaborative for Violence Reduction.
Persistent violence often leaves neighbors feeling powerless, she said. “Communities feel like they can’t do things for themselves. They don’t have a voice. They don’t feel heard,” she said. “This effort seems to me like the people most affected by violence are standing up and saying, ‘We’re not going to take this anymore.'”
A similar awareness campaign began in Chicago in 2013 and has spread across the country with people wearing orange in June to draw attention to the scourge of gun violence. Across the country more than 90 people are shot and killed every day, according to the Wear Orange campaign.
Baltimore, meanwhile, remains gripped by its own violent spike, with 2017 on pace to be the city’s deadliest year ever. The number of homicides shot up to 344 in 2015; another 318 people were killed last year. Baltimore had not exceeded 300 annual homicides for decades before 2015.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Crifasi said of the ceasefire. “It indicates to me there are lots of people in Baltimore still invested in the safety and security of their communities.”
People like Bridgeford who has carried the message to Baltimore’s drug corners. She found an unexpected audience, even encouragement in the streets. “I’ve absolutely heard skepticism,” she said. “But even the skeptics are like, ‘Stay out here.'”
DCG

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Charges dropped for immigrant teens accused of school sex assault in Maryland

henry sanchez illegalI told you about this case on March 20th – a 14-year-old girl claimed she was raped in the bathroom by two immigrants – one here illegally. They are not being charged with rape.
This latest development is infuriating and disappointing.
From NY Post: Prosecutors have dropped rape charges against two immigrant teens — one in the country illegally — because their alleged victim’s story fell apart.
Ninth-graders Jose Montano, 17, and Henry Sanchez Milian, 18, were accused of pushing a female classmate into a Rockville, Maryland, high school bathroom and violently raping her in March, fueling fiery national debate over immigration policies because both suspects were from Central America and Sanchez Milian was here illegally.
But officials dropped the charges Thursday, because school surveillance images and texts sent from the supposed victim to her alleged attackers raised doubts about the girl’s story, the Washington Post reports.
“At no point did the girl express any reluctance with any sex acts,” said Sanchez Milian’s attorney Andew Jezic. “From the night before, she actively planned a sexual encounter.”
Prosecutors are still charging Sanchez Milian with possession of child pornography over racy images of the female victim on his phone.
But his attorney says the victim willingly shared the pictures with Montano, who then passed the lewd photos to Sanchez Milian, and the smut charges are a last-ditch effort to target the immigrant teens, Jezic said.
“This is selective prosecution of elective promiscuity,” he said. “It is hardly uncommon behavior for teenagers.”
DCG

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