News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This Week in Crime: Of Burglaries, Past and Present, Plus a Steroid Pleading for Reston Doctor

robble.jpegFairfax County Police have released details about two homes that may have been struck by what we're calling the North County Hamburgler (tm) between Sept. 15 and 18.

A home in the 9200 block of Wood Glade Drive was burglarized some time between 9 p.m. on Wednesday, September 15 and 5 a.m. Thursday, September 16. An investigation determined a purse was stolen.

A home in the 9500 block of Locust Hill Drive was burglarized around 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, September 18. An investigation determined entry was made but nothing appeared to be missing.
Police didn't say that these two incidents were the work of the NCH (tm), but they seem to fit the M.O. Meanwhile, on the 11900 block of Winterthur Lane, someone stole a "steering wheel cover" from a parked vehicle. COINCIDENCE?

Meanwhile, remember that time a bunch of New York types targeted Indian families in Reston and elsewhere in Fairfax and Loudoun counties to burgle because of their proclivity for gold, only the county royally screwed up their prosecution?

Yeah, that was awesome. Federal prosecutors stepped in, and they finally got two guilty pleas from the couple at the center of the crime.
The husband in a couple that targeted South Asian families in Northern Virginia for break-ins pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to steal at least $500,000 worth of gold and other valuables in 37 burglaries.

Dagoberto Soto-Ramirez, 27, of New York City entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Alexandria less than a week after his wife admitted her guilt and described how the couple and third alleged conspirator -- who remains at large -- scrolled through names in phonebooks to target what they believed to be Indian homes.

The homes were chosen, the couple has told a federal judge, because the families often kept gold there as part of family customs.

Federal prosecutors picked up the case after local cases brought in Fairfax and Loudoun counties collapsed.

Soto-Ramirez was indicted on July 15 by a federal grand jury for conspiracy. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when he is sentenced on Dec. 3.

According to court records, from January to November 2009, Soto-Ramirez and at least two others – his wife, Melinda Marie Soto, 34, and Francisco Gray, 40, both from New York – agreed to travel to Northern Virginia for mostly daytime burglaries.

Soto-Ramirez admitted in court that he helped locate names and residences of potential victims, posed as a service man when approaching target residences, and would break into the home if no one answered to search the residence for gold, jewelry, computers and other property. The burglars took their loot to New York, where they sold it, they told the court.

Soto pleaded guilty to conspiracy on Sept. 17. Gray remains a fugitive.
For a change of pace from burglaries, let's go to Florida, where, a Reston chiropractor pled guilty to steroid-related charges. But because it's Florida, where haphazard, breathtakingly stupid crime represents 95 percent of the state's economy (early bird dinners for senior citizens are the other 5 percent), nothing's ever quite that simple, and no one's ever completely guilty:
The state attorney's office in Polk County, Fla., said today that Douglas Owen Nagel, 50, of the 12000 block of Edgemere Circle in Reston was sentenced to three years of probation, 200 hours of community service and continued drug counseling after pleading guilty to attempted possession of a controlled substance.

Nagel, however, was not formally convicted, said prosecutor Chip Thullberry.

"Down here in Florida we call it 'adjudication of guilt,'" he said. "Upon completion of his sentence, Dr. Nagel's record will reflect the lack of a formal conviction."

Nagel was charged last March with seven counts of solicitation to deliver a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance.

Florida authorities allege that he purchased anabolic steroids for at least a year from Richard "Andy" Thomas of Lakeland, Fla. Thomas told detectives after his arrest he sold steroids to Nagel, said Carrie Eleazer, a spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff's Department. Thomas, 39, was sentenced to eight months in federal prison and three years of probation in June for possession with intent to distribute anabolic steroids.

Eleazer said detectives found a shipping label in Thomas' home addressed to Nagel's chiropractic office in Sterling. Eleazer said Thomas also told detectives that Nagel said he worked with professional athletes in the Washington area and he had boasted about supplying steroids to the Washington Nationals and Washington Capitals.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said it had no evidence Nagel had provided any steroids to any professional athletes.
"Commit the crime, do the adjudication of guilt" doesn't quite have that catchy McGruff the Crime Dog ring to it, does it?

1 comment:

  1. While I am happy that thieves in the Indian burglaries were caught and convicted, it doesn't seem right that they were retry-able in Federal court. It seems like an end run around double jeopardy.


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