Get Away Driver for Curtis Bay Armed Robbery Sentenced 36 Years in Prison

For Immediate Release: April 14, 2016

Annapolis, MD -- Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams announced today that James Willie Askew, 30, of Windsor Mill, Maryland, the first of three defendants in a daytime armed robbery of the Key Bridge Liquor store in Curtis Bay, was sentenced yesterday afternoon to 36 years in prison by Circuit Court Judge Michele D. Jaklitsch on charges of armed robbery and the use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence.

“This kind of sentence reflects the tenor of what the community wants to see for violent criminals, especially those who violate probation on multiple occasions” said Wes Adams, State’s Attorney for Anne Arundel County. “I am grateful that Judge Jaklitsch held this criminal accountable for his part in this armed robbery. My office aims to protect Anne Arundel County businesses, employees, and their customers.”

Askew was sentenced to 12 years on each of the two armed robbery counts and 12 years for the use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence. Due to the handgun charge, 5years of the sentence is without the possibility of parole.

On March 13, 2015 at approximately 2:30pm, two armed black males entered the Key Bridge Liquor story in Curtis Bay with their faces covered and what appeared to be a handgun. The two men inside the store demanded for customers to get on the ground and grabbed a store employee, pushing him to the store safe. Upon learning there was no money in the safe, the armed robber became agitated and threatened to kill them. In fear for his life, the employee pointed to a drawer where there was money. Surveillance video shows that both robbers reach into the register and take money. More than $20,000 and a handgun were stolen from the store.

According to surveillance video, their silver Mercedes was parked in an obstructed position outside the business and fled the scene just after the robbery. Askew drove the getaway vehicle. The remaining two suspects in this case will be sentenced on May 11 and May 25 for the same 3 counts.

Judge Michele D. Jaklitsch presided over the case. ASA Kelly Poma prosecuted the case on behalf of the State.

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Citizens, Professionals Awarded by Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Office for Outstanding Efforts on Behalf of Crime Victims

For Immediate Release: April 13, 2016

Annapolis, MD - Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams and his staff hosted the 16th annual Victims' Rights Week Annual Awards Ceremony & Luncheon today inside the Historic Courtroom in the Annapolis Circuit Courthouse. Each year, this moving event acknowledges the strength of victims and survivors of crime in Anne Arundel County, and celebrates the heroic work of those who serve them.

"My office stands with the victims," said Wes Adams, Anne Arundel County State's Attorney." Today's awardees are shining examples of citizens with integrity and compassion which drive them to go above and beyond to serve others. The human spirit is resilient, but sometimes we need supportive advocates to remind us of that truth."

Dignitaries, agency representatives, members of the community, crime victims and victim service providers attended the event. The ceremony is always a stunning success, in large part thanks to the support of area restaurants and businesses that support us with generous donations, listed below.

National Crime Victims' Rights Week runs April 10-16, 2016. Learn more here: http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/index.html

Awards:

The Warren B. Duckett Jr. Memorial Commitment to Justice Award is named after the former State's Attorney who worked to establish the Victims' Services Unit in Anne Arundel County. This prestigious award is presented to one professional in the victim services community who has worked to preserve and protect the rights of victims.

The Victims' Rights Week Awards are given to people who have stepped forward to help crime victims in time of need. We are grateful to have courageous citizens who go above and beyond to demonstrate such tremendous compassion and integrity.

Awardees:

Warren B. Duckett Jr. Memorial Commitment to Justice Award

Steven Kroll

Victims' Rights Week Award

Joan Blum

Carol Brubaker

Chloe Brubaker

Corporal Joseph Solari

Thank you to our local donors who made this event possible:

Armadillo's, Bertucci's, Black Wall Hitch, Boatyard Bar & Grill, Buddy's Crabs, Café' Normandie, Carpaccio, Carrols' Creek, Chris's Charcoal Pit, Davis' Pub, Fado Irish Pub, Galway Bay, Heroes, India Restaurant, Metropolitan, Mike's Crab House, Miss Shirley's, O'Callaghan Hotel, Osteria 177, Potato Valley, Westin Hotel.

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Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Office to Host Maryland Crime Victims' Week Luncheon

For Immediate Release: April 11, 2016

What:

Maryland Crime Victims' Rights Week Luncheon, Presented by the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office

Where:

Historic Courtroom, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, 8 Church Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401

When:

Noon, Wednesday, April 13th

Why:

The State's Attorney's Office hosts an annual Victims' Rights Week Annual Awards Ceremony & Luncheon in the Historic Courtroom in the Circuit Courthouse. Each year, this moving event acknowledges the strength of victims and survivors of crime in Anne Arundel County, and celebrates the heroic work of those who serve them. Traditionally, nearly 150 people attend ranging from local dignitaries, agency representatives, crime victims, and victim service providers. The ceremony is always a stunning success, in large part thanks to the support of area restaurants and businesses that support us with generous donations. National Crime Victims' Rights Week runs April 10-16, 2016. Learn more here: http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/index.html

Awards:

The Warren B. Duckett Jr. Memorial Commitment to Justice Award is named after the former State's Attorney who worked to establish the Victims' Services Unit in Anne Arundel County. This prestigious award is presented to one professional in the victim services community who has worked to preserve and protect the rights of victims.

The Victims' Rights Week Awards are given to people who have stepped forward to help crime victims in time of need. We are grateful to have courageous citizens who go above and beyond to demonstrate such tremendous compassion and integrity.

Awardees:

Warren B. Duckett Jr. Memorial Commitment to Justice Award

Steven Kroll

Victims' Rights Week Award

Joan Blum

Carol Brubaker

Chloe Brubaker

Corporal Joseph Solari

*All media are invited to attend. TV cameras are allowed in the courtroom.

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Anne Arundel County Drug Ring Leader Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

For Immediate Release: March 25, 2016

Annapolis, MD -- Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams announced today that Andres Fernandez, 40, of Arnold, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and illegal possession of a regulated firearm late yesterday in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. Fernandez was sentenced to 40 years in prison, with all but 25 years of that sentence suspended and the first five years to be served without the possibility of parole.

“A daunting message was sent to those who seek to peddle poison on our streets,” said Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams. “Don’t sell drugs in Anne Arundel County.”

Fernandez is considered to be the leader of an Anne Arundel County-based, million-dollar drug operation that was disbanded through a historic, multi-agency effort in October 2015. Twelve other people have also been charged in connection with the case.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of this case,” said Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare. “Prosecutors in this case worked day and night, weekends, and holidays right alongside of our detectives to ensure the successful prosecution of Mr. Fernandez. The shared case work represents a sea change in how we go after predators and dealers of poison.”

“I believe that this positive outcome is a testament to the strong inter-agency partnerships that worked seamlessly to build this historic case from the very beginning,” said Adams. “Sentences like these should greatly impact criminals who are considering whether to set up shop here. Anne Arundel County is taking back our community.”

After a historic, coordinated, eight (8) month-long effort by six (6) law enforcement agencies led by the Anne Arundel County Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division (Narcotics and Special Investigations Section) and the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office, to target drug dealers and cripple their distribution centers, a 3-count indictment was unsealed in October in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court charging eight (8) individuals with conspiracy to distribute heroin, among other drug-related offenses. Nearly $1 million in assets were seized, to include 12 firearms and 3 vehicles.

State's Attorney's Office prosecutors coordinated a multi-agency investigation which included the Anne Arundel County Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division (Narcotics and Special Investigations Section), members of the Anne Arundel County Heroin Task Force (Anne Arundel County Police Department, Annapolis Police and Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Office), as well as members of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Anne Arundel County Executive's Office funded the effort. This large-scale law enforcement team identified the drug trafficking members who were responsible for illicit drug importation, packaging and distribution inside Anne Arundel County, executed the search warrants, and discovered the necessary evidence that eventually broke apart this ring.

All defendants from this drug operation are moving through the justice system at various stages in the process.

Judge J. Michael Wachs presided over the case. ASAs Nicolle Norris and Jason Steinhardt prosecuted the case on behalf of the State.

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