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Father charged with trying to sell his baby

November 26, 1997

By BRENDAN KIRBY

Staff Writer

FREDERICK, Md. - A Frederick man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly trying to sell his baby to a foster couple in Hagerstown, Maryland State Police said.

Kenneth Mark Vogelpohl, 37, of the 600 block of North Bentz Street, was charged with offering to sell, barter or trade a child, police said. He was being held Wednesday night at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center on $15,000 bond.

The 15-month-old child had been placed in foster care with the Hagerstown couple but had been returned to the natural parents over the summer, police said.

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Vogelpohl allegedly offered to return the child to the foster family for a used car and cash, according to police.

The foster father contacted Maryland State Police at the Hagerstown barracks, authorities said.

State troopers from the Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement assisted by a surveillance team from the Frederick County Drug Task Force set up a sting that resulted in Vogelpohl's arrest, police said.

Law enforcement officials witnessed the exchange of the child for cash and the car, police said. Police arrested Vogelpohl near his home Wednesday afternoon.

The child has been placed under the care of the Department of Social Services, police said.

A cash-for-baby scheme seems like something out of a television movie of the week, and indeed, authorities said it is nearly unheard of locally.

"It's pretty rare. It's not very common at all," Sgt. Michael Brennan said.

Conviction on a misdemeanor charge of offering to sell, barter or trade a child carries a maximum $10,000 fine and five years in prison.

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