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Police log

October 23, 1997

Man sentenced for tax evasion

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Bunker Hill, W.Va., man was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia in Martinsburg by Judge W. Craig Broadwater.

Robert J. Erchak was sentenced to eight months imprisonment followed by one year of supervised release and was ordered to pay the costs of prosecution based on a guilty plea he entered June 10, according to court records. The indictment states that Erchak received gross income of $63,749.94 in 1992 and failed to file an income tax return to the Internal Revenue Service.

He is free on bond and will report to a designated institution.

Man, 3 teens face theft charges

A 21-year-old West Virginia man and three Hagerstown teens were charged Tuesday afternoon with stealing more than $250 in blue jeans from The Bon Ton in the Valley Mall.


Vonzele Wade Carey, of Route 3, Box 340, Kearneysville, W.Va., and two teenage boys have each been charged with felony theft and theft by scheme, according to Washington County Sheriff's deputies.

Carey was released on personal recognizance.

One of the teens was also charged with possession of a small quantity of marijuana.

The theft occurred around 4:15 p.m. and deputies responded and began looking for the suspects.

Deputies Richard Peacock and Tim Hafer spotted three of the suspects in a taxi cab on Virginia Avenue and pulled them over.

A search of the cab turned up the jeans, a Citizens gold watch and the drugs, deputies said.

A fourth suspect, also a juvenile, was arrested a short time later while walking in the parking lot at the Valley Mall, deputies said.

Frederick man facesweapon charges

FREDERICK, Md. - Cpl. Sean Stuart got more than he bargained for late Tuesday when the Frederick City Police officer stopped a motorist driving without headlights - there were two loaded weapons in the car.

Donald M. Trombley, 45, of the 4700 block of Ballenger Creek Pike, has been charged with transporting a handgun in his vehicle, possession of a concealed weapon, driving while intoxicated and failure to maintain equipment.

Trombley was pulled over in the 700 block of North Market Street at 11:19 p.m.

The loaded shotgun was found behind the driver's seat, Stuart said. The loaded .36-caliber black powder revolver was under the driver's seat, Stuart said.

Weapons, TV stolen from subdivision

MARLOWE, W.Va. - A shotgun, rifle and a 25-inch television set were reported stolen sometime in the past three weeks from a home in the Sportsman's Paradise subdivision, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.

The report said the house was a summer home belonging to Robert Forest of Falling Waters, W.Va. The burglary took place sometime between Oct. 2 and Tuesday, when it was reported at 3:36 p.m., the report said.

Teen charged with failure to control car

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - West Virginia State Police said no one was hurt in a four-vehicle accident Tuesday morning on W.Va. 9 near the Eagle Mart.

Police said a 17-year-old boy was driving west at 9:30 a.m. when he ran into the rear of a line of traffic stopped for a turning vehicle. His car and two others involved in the chain reaction sustained moderate damage. The fourth had minor damage according to police.

The boy told police he was blinded by the sun as he was coming down the hill. He was charged with failure to maintain control of his vehicle, the report said.

Marijuana, cash seized in search

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - City police seized a small amount of marijuana and $900 in cash in a search conducted Wednesday afternoon.

According to Sgt. George Swartwood, police made a forced entry at at 5:40 p.m. at 404 Williams St. The search warrant, mainly for illicit drugs, was issued by Magistrate Joan Bragg.

Swartwood said there were two adults and two children in the house, but no arrests were made. Along with the marijuana and cash, police seized pipes and screens that police said are associated with drug use.

In recent weeks city police have conducted a number of drug-related searches of residences.

Federal drug trial begins in Berkeley

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The federal drug trial of a Martinsburg man got under way Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

Jason J. Smith, of 123 W. John St., is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Federal prosecutors allege Smith, also known as Phillip Daniel Smith, distributed cocaine in the Eastern Panhandle from January 1990 to April of this year.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Mucklow put seven prosecution witnesses on the stand Wednesday. At least one more prosecution witness is expected to testify before the defense presents its case today.

The case was investigated by the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.

Kerosene heater explodes in garage

A kerosene heater exploded and damaged a garage on Nottingham Road Wednesday night, but no one was hurt, according to the Hagerstown Fire Department.

The owner, who was working on his car at 36 Nottingham Road at about 10:40 p.m., was on his way out of the building, Capt. Kyd Dieterich said.

He put out the fire with a fire extinguisher before firefighters arrived, Dieterich said. The explosion shattered a window and damaged a wall, but did not damage the car, Dieterich said.

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