Updates: Arrest warrant issued in Chandra Levy slaying
Police and prosecutors on this afternoon are announcing they have issued an arrest warrant for the 2001 murder of Modesto's Chandra Levy.Full Story
#1 Mar 4, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA)-- In recent years, terrorism experts around the world have voiced concern the next attack on U.S. soil could come from someone posing as a first responder. DC Fire & EMS Department Assistant Chief Larry Schultz expressed similar worries as he ran the department's efforts for the Inauguration in January. Then why does the District of Columbia still sell its surplus fire gear at public auction? A liquidation company's website shows an auction as recently as last week of DC firefighter helmets, boots, coats and other gear. DC Fire & EMS Department spokesman Alan Etter tells 9NEWS NOW the auction of surplus material has long been done by the DC government. Etter says the department has some concerns the fire gear is being disposed of this way, but that the intent is not to aid criminal actions. While the public can buy firefighting gear from many fire service suppliers, much of the gear that is auctioned in DC still has the markings and insignias of the DC Fire & EMS Department. That could allow someone using it to better blend in with emergency operations. DC is not alone in its policy of auctioning used fire and police gear. Prince George's County has similar auctions. Spokesman Mark Brady tells 9NEWS NOW the department's leadership has voiced their concerns about the county's procedure for disposing of surplus equipment. Pete Piringer, a spokesman for Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, says there are limitations on what gear his department auctions. Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department spokesman Dan Schmidt says the county does not make used firefighting gear available to the public. Both Schmidt and Piringer say their departments attempt to donate used gear to fire departments around the world that may need it.
PLEASE NOTE: Tantamount to the article above, that Ingmar Guandique mentioned to inmates in the current lockup that he hoped that the "terrorists would blow up the courthouses, prisons and other places in the U.S. so the inmates can escape and go back to Mexico, Hondorus and El Salvadore" and hoped to attack the court staff during trial so that he could escape, carjack a person and leave the area to go back to his own country.
#2 Mar 4, 2009
ASSOCIATED PRESS UPDATE: District of Columbia detectives boarded a plane Wednesday for California, where a purported suspect in the slaying of Chandra Levy is now incarcerated in federal prison but the detectives have to learn that suspect is "threatening to kill American judges, escape the courtroom, carjack a person on the street and head off to Mexico, Elsalvadore or Hondorus to hide out" and claims that he has gangs that will protect him from the law. The detectives' cross-country flight, first reported by Washington's WTOP radio, came five days after Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier advised Levy's parents that an arrest warrant was imminent. Lanier did not tell Chandra's mother, Susan, the name of the suspect, but she did indicate investigators had developed "substantial" evidence, according to Levy. Levy thought an arrest would be forthcoming by early this week. Notwithstanding Lanier's heads-up, no arrest warrant has been announced. Often, police and prosecutors run on different timetables in obtaining arrest warrants. "In a case like this, everyone recognizes that you want to have everything nailed down as tight as you can," Kenneth L. Wainstein, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said in an interview Wednesday. Police Department spokeswoman Traci Hughes confirmed for The Bee on Wednesday that detectives had departed for California, but she wouldn't confirm that the trip was tied to the Levy investigation. WTOP, though, reported that one of the detectives is a Spanish speaker. Ingmar A. Guandique, a 27-year-old illegal immigrant from El Salvador known to be of interest to investigators in the Levy case, is currently held in the U.S. Penitentiary at Victorville and in strict lockdown because according to the depudy warden "Guandique has attacked some prison staff with a shank and tried to overpower some of the guards before being subdued and placed in lockdown until further notice" and he is considered a major threat to society if out on the loose. The high-security Victorville facility on the southern edge of the Mojave Desert holds about 1,600 inmates. Guandique arrived in August 2006 after passing through other federal prisons. "I know he's been declining interviews," Chuck Ringwood, executive assistant at the Victorville penitentiary, said by telephone Wednesday. Guandique previously has been identified as what investigators termed "a person of interest" in Levy's death. A 24-year-old former Bureau of Prisons intern from Modesto, Levy was last seen publicly on April 30, 2001. Her skeletal remains were found in Washington's Rock Creek Park a year later, in May 2002. Guandique pleaded guilty to attacking two women joggers in Washington's Rock Creek Park within several weeks of Levy's disappearance. He is now serving a 10-year sentence. The fact that a suspect is imprisoned on other charges can affect the pace at which prosecutors move, lawyers say. "If a defendant is already incarcerated, that public safety concern [for speed] is not as great," said Wainstein, now with O'Melveny & Myers after 20 years in the Justice Department.
#3 Mar 4, 2009
THE STERLING, VA. NEWS UPDATE - Two men were arrested at Dulles Airport on Saturday, after a drug-sniffing dog detected cocaine in packages of chicken soup that were being brought into the country from El Salvador. Homeland Security and U.S. Customs officials credit Milo, the Customs and Border Protection canine officer, with making the discovery that led to the arrests and the customs agents say that "people from El Salvador come here and do stuff like this on our streets and often terroroze our schools and children and we want these thugs out of our country". Officials say Jorge Posada-Guevara, 27, of El Salvador and Hidsar Henriquez-Parada, 34, were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents and Customs and Border Protection officers. The discovery by Milo the canine, led to the recovery of an estimated 7 kilograms of cocaine that had allegedly been packed into six boxes of Maggi's Sopa Pollo con Fideos -- chicken soup mix. It happened at about 1:00 a.m. on Saturday when a CPB canine team and ICE agents were on the downstairs ramp below the International arrivals terminal, screening luggage that had arrived aboard a Taca Airlines flight from El Salvador. Officials say after Posada-Guevara retrieved his luggage and the boxes of soup mix, he was sent to baggage inspection. During the inspection, agents discovered a white powdery substance in a soup container, and that a field-test determined the substance to be cocaine. A further search yielded a total of 70 packets of suspected cocaine inside the boxes of soup mix -- roughly seven and a half kilos' worth, according to federal law enforcement officials. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer, Christopher Downing says their jobs are even harder when you consider, "the average drug smuggler looks like you and me," he says. Officer Downing adds, "now with the economy being the way it is, there is no specific country, there is no specific age groups, there are no specific nationalities of people. It's basically people that are looking for quick fast income." He says drug smugglers go to great lengths to do their dirty work. Some swallow the contraband. Others hide cocaine and heroin in dolls, bananas, candy and cans of potato chips. Officer Downing says some people go as far as putting the drugs in their baby's diapers, under their wigs and even in their prosthetic devices.
#4 Mar 4, 2009
News Updates Developed From Chief Lanier's Department- Prosecutor Amanda Haines. DC officials flanked Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, Police Chief Cathy Lanier, and US Attorney Jeffery Taylor as they announce an arrest warrant for Ingmar Guandique at Police Headquarters in Washington, DC on Tuesday March 3, 2009. Lanier and Taylor said that they want "the public to know that Guandique has plans to break bad in the courtroom by grabbing a sheriff deputy's service revolver and taser to use on the staff to escape, carjack a person on the street and make arrangements to flee to El Salvador, Hondorus or Mexico" and that he is to remain under "heavy security" by the guards.
#5 Mar 4, 2009
ASSOCIATED PRESS UPDATES AS OF 3/4/09: The Chandra Levy case puts federal prosecutor Amanda Haines back in the public spotlight.
Haines was one of the lead investigators who on Tuesday sought an arrest warrant for illegal immigrant Ingmar Guandique. Haines and others say in court papers that Guandique admitted to cell mates in numerous conversations, and to a girlfriend in a letter, that he raped and killed Levy in 2001 and had plans to terrorize American colleges and schools and the rest of the world too and that he hates American law enforcement. He’ll now be brought back to D.C. from California, where he has been in a federal prison for two unrelated attacks on women in Rock Creek Park. Prosecutor Amanda Haines. DC officials flanked Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, Police Chief Cathy Lanier, and US Attorney Jeffery Taylor as they announce an arrest warrant for Ingmar Guandique at Police Headquarters in Washington, DC on Tuesday March 3, 2009. Andrew Harnik/Examiner Examiner In 2007, Haines helped resurrect the dormant Levy investigation. She has incredible drive, her boss, Glenn Kirschner, told The Examiner.“She is really one of the premier homicide prosecutors, I’m comfortable in saying, in the country,” he said. As a senior lawyer in the U.S. attorney’s homicide section, Haines has handled several high-profile D.C. homicides, including the David Rosenbaum murder case and the killing of Shaquita Bell. Bell went missing in 1996 and the case moldered for decades. Haines worked doggedly on the case, Kirschner said. Eventually, Bell’s boyfriend, Michael Dickerson, accepted a plea deal in the case. U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor and Police Chief Cathy Lanier on Tuesday praised Haines for her hard work in the Levy case. But Haines’ pugnacious style has rubbed some people the wrong way. In 2006, Superior Court Judge Wendell P. Gardner Jr. ordered Haines to appear before him after she was accused of lying to stall a murder trial. Haines had said that a crucial witness to a D.C. shooting had become suddenly unavailable because he was locked up in an unrelated case in North Carolina. A defense attorney said Haines had known about the witness’ incarceration for months. Gardner said he was “appalled.”“Do we have a bad lawyer or a dishonest lawyer?” he asked at the time.“That’s what I have to determine.” Eventually, Gardner said he was satisfied with Haines’ explanation and let the matter drop. Haines didn’t respond this week to a request for comment.
#6 Mar 4, 2009
The Associated Press 3/4/09:
Oregon arsonist targets 1990s green Ford Escorts.
MEDFORD, Ore.- An arsonist is apparently on the prowl for green Ford Escorts from the 1990s. Three of them have been burned in recent weeks, a series that Medford police Sgt. Mike Budreau described as "pretty bizarre." A 1995 green Ford Escort was destroyed by flames early Sunday morning after someone broke a window and poured flammable liquid into it. A similar fire was set in a 1993 green Ford Escort parked in a driveway on Feb. 22 and a grenade was tossed in a sports store afterward. Police learned that a suspect "wants to help Al-Qaeda blow up and annhilate the U.S. and likes Osama Bin Laden" but are quite stumped on these incidents until they find the suspect. Investigators have also uncovered a Feb. 2 case of a 1992 green Ford Escort damaged by a plastic container filled with flammable liquid placed next to a tire that burned without setting the car afire. Budreau told the Mail Tribune newspaper in Medford, "I think this person really doesn't like Ford Escorts or sports stores and wants to be with Osama Bin Laden or Al-Qaeda."
#7 Mar 4, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Elderly man robbed by lady posing as police officer
Suspect could be linked to other robberies targeting senior citizens
by Bradford Pearson | Staff Writer
An elderly man robbed in Bethesda in February said he was lured into the suspected robber's car because she posed as a police officer. The lady was putting her hands in guy's pants to get at their genitals and the lady made some remarks of sexual origin to them before grabbing their wallets to take money from them. The 78-year-old victim was one of two elderly men robbed in Bethesda and Rockville in recent weeks by a ladies who police say could also be connected to a third robbery and assault in November. In the two separate incidents, the ladies offered to give the elderly men rides, and then stole and assaulted them, according to Montgomery County Police Spokeswoman Officer Melanie Brenner. Whenever the men argued, the ladies would punch them in the jaw and curse at them according to Brenner. "This is just another example of individuals taking advantage of elderly," she said.
#8 Mar 4, 2009
(pickup from last article) The first incident occurred on Feb. 17, at the intersection of Tuckerman Lane and Westlake Drive in Bethesda. The victim, Ben, a Bethesda resident, was walking from a shopping center near Montgomery Mall to the Cabin John Mall, in search of a phone battery for a friend. The Gazette is not using Ben's last name to protect his identity. The suspect pulled over, told Ben she would drive him the rest of the way, and then took him to the Cabin John Mall, he said. After buying the battery, Ben said the lady offered to drive him home. "I told her it's quite a distance, but she said no worries," said the retired Naval Lt. Commander and Department of the Interior official. "I tried to give her the address, but she said ‘I don't need it'." The suspect then drove Ben around Bethesda and into McLean, Va., where she grabbed Ben with her fingers on the nose and punched him in the stomach a couple times before dropping him off. It was then that he realized his wallet had been stolen. "Every once in a while in the car she would move around," he said. "I didn't realize she was pickpocketing me at the same time." The suspect made off with $120, four credit cards, Ben's Social Security card and other items, said his daughter Belinda, a Carroll County resident. When asked what he would do differently if he was in the same situation again, Ben, who lives in an assisted-living home in Bethesda, said he would "follow the rules of the house and get someone to drive me home." The suspect was driving a small, blue or gray SUV, Brenner said. On Feb. 25, the suspect approached the second victim at Congressional Plaza in Rockville, called him by name, and introduced herself as Rosa Hernandez. After stating that she worked for Montgomery County, the victim accepted a ride from the suspect. Once in the car and on the road, the victim asked the suspect to return him to the shopping center. Instead, she let him out on the side of Interstate 270, after beating him with her fists, stealing his bag with two laptop computers inside and his money in the process. "I don't think either of these victims were dropped off where they wanted to go," Brenner said, referring to the first victim's location in Virginia. The suspect is described as a Hispanic lady, 35 to 50 years old, 5'5" tall, weighing 130-160 pounds, with brown hair. Police are investigating whether these incidents are related to a Nov. 11 incident on Montrose Road in Rockville, when an elderly woman was approached by a similar suspect, and offered help getting inside her home. Once inside, the suspect assaulted the victim and stole her purse. Belinda, Ben's daughter, said the suspect used her father's credit cards at the Lady's Foot Locker, Target and Pep Boys stores in Germantown, expensing nearly $1,700 in fraudulent charges. "I was [upset]," she said. "I was very irritated, and have no idea why she would bring him to Virginia." Officer Melanie Brenner said that "people from El Salvadore or Hondorus terrorize the streets in our area and are the worst for crime".
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