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Berkeley County court briefs

August 18, 2010

Martinsburg resident enters guilty plea to count of possession with intent to distribute



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Martinsburg man who attempted to flush about 100 grams of heroin down a toilet pleaded guilty this week to one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin in January 2009 in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II's office announced.

Nicholas Deminds, 22, who entered the plea Monday in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg, faces a maximum sentence of five to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine, according to the announcement.

"During the execution of a search warrant, Deminds attempted to flush approximately 100.6 grams of heroin down the toilet but there was so much of the drug, it would not flush," according to the news release.

Woman arraigned on counterfeiting charge



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --A 28-year-old woman who police say was told by a bank teller that a $20 bill she had was fake attempted to buy cigarettes with it anyway, according to Berkeley County Magistrate Court records.

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Virginia Ann Simms of 413 W. Martin St. in Martinsburg, was arraigned Wednesday by Magistrate W. Randy Smith on one count of counterfeiting, according to court records. Smith set a $10,000 bond for Simms, records show.

The counterfeit bill was reported Wednesday by a clerk at Old Berkeley News, where Simms is accused of attempting to buy the cigarettes, according to a complaint filed with the court by patrol officer William Parks.

The clerk told Parks that the bill appeared and felt fake so he checked it with a counterfeit detection pen and it tested to be counterfeit, according to court records.

Simms told police that her father gave her the bill and told her to take it somewhere to see if it was real, according to court records.

"She advised me that she then took the bill to BB&T bank on the corner of King and Queen streets and asked if they would trade it in," Parks said in his complaint.

The teller with whom Simms had spoken told police that she told Simms the bill was not real and that she should take it back to the bank that Simms had claimed it was from, according to court records.

Parks said Simms told him several times that "I figured the bill was fake, but I knew if I used it to buy cigarettes they would check it with that pen and then I would know for sure," according to court records.

Berkeley County woman guilty of two counts of credit card fraud



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A jury seated in U.S. District Court found a Berkeley County woman guilty of two counts of credit card fraud Aug. 11 after a three-day trial, U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfield II's office announced Tuesday.

Penny Renae Young, 41, of Inwood, W.Va., was convicted of obtaining and using a Pitney Bowes Visa credit card in her own name on the account of her employer, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Young used the credit card to make personal purchases including a computer, a down payment on a cruise and cell phone service without the knowledge or permission of her employer. Young, who is free on bond pending sentencing, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on each count. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S Attorney Paul T. Camilletti and was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service.

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