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Message from Harford County State’s Attorney Regarding Sean Reyes

DATE: July 21, 2021

MEDIA RELEASE

Statement of Harford County State’s Attorney Albert J. Peisinger, Jr. regarding State v. Sean Reyes

State vs. Sean Reyes was resolved today after Mr. Reyes accepted responsibility for hindering and obstructing Deputy Keith Jackson during a traffic stop on May 5th , 2021. Mr. Reyes agreed to write a letter of apology and complete a period of community service. Deputy Jackson was consulted throughout the entire case and agreed to resolve this matter in this manner. Mr. Reyes has since written his letter of apology wherein he now acknowledges that his actions were misguided, recognizes the important role law enforcement play when engaged in the course of their duties and understands the proper way to exercise his 1st amendment rights.

I would like to take this time to thank Deputy Jackson, not just as the State’s Attorney but as a citizen of Harford County, for the constant and continued professionalism that he has and continues to display in his career. What should have been focused on from the events of that evening was the excellent police work done by Deputy Jackson. He was able to manage the initial traffic stop with respect and clear communication. When Mr. Reyes engaged Deputy Jackson, he used proper de-escalation methods to gain control of that situation as well. Deputy Jackson’s actions that evening exemplify how our law enforcement routinely interacts with our Harford County community and how it should be done.

I have agreed to this resolution after receiving Deputy Jackson’s consent and reading Mr. Reyes’s letter of apology. I also want to make it perfectly clear that my Office will continue to prosecute any individual that hinders or obstructs our law enforcement agencies within our county. Thank you to all the men and women of law enforcement for all that you do each day to keep our community safe.

Bel Air Bank Teller convicted in Home Invasion

DATE: July 19, 2021
RE: Conviction of Nathan Newell

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction of Nathan Newell, 21, from Bel Air, Maryland, for attempted murder in the second degree and related home invasion charges.

On November 11, 2019, deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to Still Pond Way in Bel Air. Upon arrival, deputies made contact with 78 year-old Glenn Kulik who reported that earlier in the evening, his doorbell rang and as soon as he opened the door a large masked man attacked him, knocked him to the ground and strangled him. Mr. Kulik’s stepdaughter, Natalie Sodano, awoke from the commotion and came rushing downstairs. When she saw what was happening, she jumped on the assailant’s back. The attack continued through the living room, into the kitchen, back to the living room, and back to the front door. The assailant, whose mask came off during the struggle, ran upstairs looking for money before fleeing the house.

Mr. Kulik and Ms. Sodano identified their attacker as Nathan Newell, a bank teller who had served Mr. Kulik the week before. The Harford County Sheriff’s office took Newell into custody wherein he delivered a partial confession. Later, Mr. Newell acknowledged that he knew Mr. Kulik had withdrawn a large sum of money and that was the basis of his attack.

Following a two-day bench trial in front of the Honorable Angela M. Eaves, Mr. Newell was convicted of attempted murder in the second degree, home invasion, first degree burglary, robbery, first degree assault, second degree assault, and attempted theft of $1,500 to less than $25,000. Sentencing has been scheduled for October 15, 2021.

Mr. Peisinger thanked the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, emergency response personnel, and Assistant State’s Attorneys Jason Allen and Toi Mason for their outstanding work and dedication in conducting the investigation and prosecution that resulted in the conviction of Mr. Newell.

Harford County Narcotics Task Force announces the indictment of 22 in county-wide cocaine wiretap investigation

Harford County Narcotics Task Force announces the indictment of 22 in county-wide cocaine wiretap investigation

For Immediate Release: Cristie Hopkins, HCSO Media and Public Relations, 410-836-5403

[June 8, 2021, Bel Air, MD] Harford County State’s Attorney Albert Peisinger, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner, Bel Air Police Chief Charles
Moore, Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Trabert, and Havre de Grace Police Chief Teresa Walter, together as the Harford County Narcotics Task Force, announce the indictment of 18 individuals for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and other crimes after a several months long wiretap investigation. Additionally, 4 individuals are charged with standalone cases involving firearms and/or the possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances as a result of this investigation.

The indictments, state and federal, occurred over a several month time period between July 2020 and October 2020, with arrests continuing until April of 2021. At this time, there is one outstanding warrant.

Indicted for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and related charges are:

Aubrey Akers, 39, Darlington, MD; Released on bond

Nancy Akers, 59, Darlington, MD; Currently being held at the Harford County Detention Center

Burton Anderson, 51, Street, MD; Released on bond

Jack Anderson, 44, Tucson, AZ; Federally detained

Reginald Bolden, 37, Bel Air, MD; Federally detained

Che Durbin, 42, Aberdeen, MD; Federally detained

Adrian Goodwin, 35, Havre de Grace, MD; Currently being held at the Harford County Detention Center

Joel Hammond, 35, Essex, MD; Federal home detention

Wayne Mclain, Jr., 36, Street, MD; Released on bond

Tremayne Murphy, 40, Aberdeen, MD; Federally detained

Curtis Myers, Jr., 36, Belcamp, MD; Released on bond

Edward Pettigrew, 59, Aberdeen, MD; Currently being held at the Harford County Detention Center

Lenora Sikalis-Barber, 53, Darlington, MD; Released on bond

Lee Ann Taylor, 48, Darlington, MD; Open Arrest Warrant

Jameka Thompson, 40, Abingdon, MD; Federally detained

Romaine Timms, 50, Aberdeen, MD; Released on bond

Terrell Walton, 34, Bel Air, MD; Federally detained

Michael Wells, 36, Churchville, MD; Federally detained at the Harford County Detention Center on additional State charges

Also charged are:

Ramon Dalmida, 38, Aberdeen, MD; Released on bond

Gerrick Jackson, 39, Havre de Grace, MD; Federally detained

Sterling Melton, 34, Aberdeen, MD; Currently being held at the Harford County Detention Center

John Washington, 26, Aberdeen, MD; Currently being held at the Harford County Detention Center

Known as “Operation All Aboard” this investigation, that began from two community tips, ultimately led to a court authorized wiretap of 18 phone lines and one social media messenger platform and took investigators across the country. Narcotics Task Force detectives and prosecutors worked tirelessly from developing the tips, in February 2019 and lasting well into 2020, to bring the investigation to a close.

The indictment alleges that the drug trafficking organizations led by Che Durbin and Reggie Bolden were responsible for the distribution of large quantities of cocaine throughout Harford County. During the course of the investigation, law enforcement travelled to Tucson, Arizona and observed what they believed to be narcotics related transactions occurring in furtherance of the conspiracy and cocaine being transported directly back to Harford County for distribution. Multiple search warrants were executed throughout Harford County. Recovered during the course of this investigation were more than 2.5 kilos of cocaine, 66.2 grams of crack cocaine, 69 pills of fentanyl, 435 grams of marijuana, 31 suboxone strips, 28 firearms, 19 vehicles valued at more than $258,000, and approximately $110,000 in US currency.

Charges against some individuals are State charges pending in the Circuit Court for Harford County while others have been indicted on Federal charges and are pending in the United States District Court of Maryland. An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

The Harford County Task Force is a highly trained, self-governing, multi-jurisdictional entity with a mission to investigate and prosecute offenses in the areas of mid to upper level drug trafficking, homeland security, and vice while supporting and facilitating cooperation and coordination among federal, state, and local law enforcement. We pledge to complete this mission without prejudice or partiality by utilizing intelligence-driven policing with valor, virtue, and integrity.

Havre de Grace Resident Sentenced for Child Abuse Resulting in Death

DATE: June 1, 2021
RE: Sentencing of Brenton Mills

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, announced the sentencing of Brenton Mills, 27 of Havre de Grace, Maryland for child abuse resulting in death.
On January 7, 2019, officers of the Havre de Grace Police Department were dispatched to 667 Green Street in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Upon arrival, officers discovered that the victim, a two year old girl, was suffering from a cardiac arrest. She was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital, but, despite numerous life-saving attempts, she died approximately one week later. Doctors discovered that the victim sustained brain swelling and bleeding that were the result of a high velocity trauma and she appeared to be the victim of abuse. Following an extensive investigation by the Havre de Grace Police Department, including multiple interviews with the victim’s caregivers, Brenton Mills was identified as a suspect and arrested on December 19, 2019.

Mr. Mills pled in the Circuit Court for Harford County before the Honorable M. Elizabeth Bowen on November 10, 2020 to one count of child abuse resulting in death. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Tabone.

The sentencing hearing occurred on June 1, 2021. The victim’s family attended the hearing and the Court heard several statements describing the impact this crime had on them and on the community. The Court sentenced Mr. Mills to 40 years suspend all but 15 years of incarceration, to be served at the Division of Corrections, with five years of probation to follow.

The Office of the State’s Attorney for Harford County expressed condolences to the victim’s family for this
tragic and senseless loss.

Aberdeen Man Sentenced to Life in 2018 Murder

DATE: June 1, 2021
RE: Homicide Sentencing

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the sentencing of Joseph Daniel Parrish, 28, from Aberdeen, Maryland, for murder in the first degree, witness retaliation and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

On November 11, 2018, officers of the Havre de Grace Police Department responded to the 200 block of North Washington Street in Havre de Grace, Maryland following a report of an individual suffering from a laceration. Upon arrival, officers discovered that the victim, 61 year-old Jeffrey Coudon, had sustained gunshot wounds. Despite immediate life-saving efforts and transport of Mr. Coudon to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma, he succumbed to his injuries three days later on November 14, 2018. Following an extensive investigation, two individuals, Robert Lee Zeman, III, 34, from Havre de Grace, Maryland and Mr. Parrish were identified and arrested in April of 2019. Mr. Zeman was convicted on February 14, 2020 for being an accessory to the murder.

Following a lengthy trial in the Circuit Court for Harford County before the Honorable Paul W. Ishak, Mr. Parrish was found guilty by a jury on October 17, 2019. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorneys Timothy Doory and Gabriella Vazzana.

Today, following the presentation of statements by friends and family of the victim, the Court sentenced Mr. Parrish to life in prison for the first degree murder, 20 years for witness retaliation and 20 years for the firearm charge, both of which are to be served consecutive to each other and to the murder.

The Office of the State’s Attorney for Harford County expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to Mr.
Coudon’s family and friends for their unimaginable loss.

Jury Finds Edgewood Man Guilty of Sex Abuse of a Minor

DATE: May 28, 2021
RE: Conviction of Williams Reina Diaz

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction of Williams Reina Diaz, 27, from Edgewood, Maryland, for sex abuse of a minor.

On January 6, 2020, deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 15 year old victim’s home for the report of a sexual assault. The resulting investigation by the Maryland State Police and the Harford County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) revealed that earlier that morning, Mr. Reina Diaz sexually assaulted the victim while she was sleeping.

Mr. Reina Diaz was convicted by a jury on May 24, 2021. The presiding judge was the Honorable Angela M.Eaves. Deputy State’s Attorney Gavin Patashnick prosecuted this matter. Sentencing for Mr. Reina Diaz is scheduled for July 20, 2021. Mr. Reina Diaz faces a maximum penalty of 25 years.

Mr. Peisinger thanked the jurors who deliberated the case. He also commended the Maryland State Police, all of the partners of the Harford County CAC, and Deputy State’s Attorney Gavin Patashnick for their joint effort that resulted in the arrest and conviction of Reina Diaz.

Abingdon Resident Sentenced for Sexual Abuse of a Minor Following Disclosure by Adult Survivor

DATE: May 28, 2021
RE: Conviction of Steven Gross

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction of Steven Gross, 49 of Abingdon, Maryland, for sex abuse of a minor.

Gross was convicted on May 10, 2021 by way of a plea. The case began during the summer of 2020 when the victim, who is now an adult, went to the Maryland State Police Barracks to report that she suffered past child sex abuse by Steven Gross. The victim detailed that Mr. Gross started sexually abusing her when she was six years of age and continued for several years. He threatened her on regular basis should she should ever disclose what he was doing. It wasn’t until the victim reached adulthood that she felt safe and disclosed.

The Honorable Kevin J. Mahoney imposed a total sentence of 25 years suspend all but 10 years incarceration to be served at the Division of Corrections. The Defendant will be on five (5) years of supervised probation when he is released and will submit to lifetime sex offender registration.

Mr. Peisinger thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Tabone who prosecuted this matter and commended the Maryland State Police and all partners of Harford County Child Advocacy Center for their hard work and dedication in conducting the investigation that resulted in the arrest and conviction of Gross.

Aberdeen Man Convicted of Robbery

DATE: May 28, 2021
RE: Conviction of Wardell Walton

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction of Wardell Walton, 34, Aberdeen, Maryland, for robbery.

Walton was convicted on April 26, 2021 by way of a guilty plea. The case began when on October 2, 2020, Aberdeen Police Officers responded to a group home and met with the victim who reported that he opened his door to walk to the communal bathroom where he was confronted by Wardell Walton. Walton then forced the victim back into his apartment, punching and striking him repeatedly in the face. Walton attempted to grab the victim’s wallet from his pants, knocking him to the bed, biting his hand, and ripping his pocket. Walton fled with the victim’s wallet, containing $4,700 in cash.

The Honorable Yolanda L. Curtin imposed a total sentence of 15 years suspend all but 8 years incarceration to be served at the Division of Corrections. The Defendant will be on three (3) years of supervised probation when he is released.

Mr. Peisinger thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Allen who prosecuted this matter and commended the Aberdeen Police Department for their hard work and dedication in conducting the investigation that resulted in the arrest and conviction of Walton.

Delaware Man Sentenced For Bel Air Arsons

HARFORD COUNTY, MD (May 27, 2021) – The Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) has concluded two separate arson investigations with the conviction and sentencing of Richard Benjamin Lodeski, 44, of Wilmington, Delaware.

Lodeski was initially charged on June 23, 2020, with: (2) counts of Second Degree Arson, (2) counts of First Degree Malicious Burning, (2) counts of Second Degree Malicious Burning, and (2) counts of Malicious Destruction of Property over $1,000. He was later charged with additional counts of Second Degree Arson, First Degree Malicious Burning, and Malicious Destruction of Property over $1,000.

The first arson fire occurred around 11:30 p.m. on June 15, 2020, at a Shell gas station located in the 1900 block of Emmorton Road in Bel Air. Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company firefighters arrived and contained a fire to the store’s roof within minutes.

The second arson fire occurred on June 20, 2020, just before 3:30 a.m., when Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company and surrounding departments responded to 1226 Bel Air Road for a reported building fire. Firefighters arrived and discovered two separate buildings on fire. The buildings, located behind the former Birroteca restaurant, were two structures housing eight different businesses. Firefighters were able to contain the separate blazes within forty minutes.

In collaboration with BATF agents, Deputy State Fire Marshals investigated both and determined the fires were incendiary (arson) in nature. It is estimated that the fires caused over 1 million dollars in damages to all three businesses.

During the investigation, Lodeski was connected to other crimes, including arson in Baltimore County and burglary in Ocean City. Investigators are working with Delaware law enforcement in connecting him to other arsons in the Dewey Beach area.

On May 26, 2021, Lodeski admitted his guilt in Harford County Circuit Court before the Honorable Kevin J. Mahoney. In exchange for his guilty plea, Judge Mahoney sentenced him to 60 years, suspending all but 10 years to the three counts of arson-second degree. Deputy State’s Attorney Gavin Patashnick prosecuted the case.

“Arson is a callous and senseless crime that endangers the lives of innocent residents and our firefighters who bravely respond to protect life and property,” stated State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. “I commend my Deputy State Fire Marshals and our federal partners in fire investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and their outstanding efforts to investigate these incidents and apprehend the suspect.”

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Murderer Radee Prince Sentenced in 2017 Mass Shooting

Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced that Radee Prince, 40, from Elkton, Maryland, received three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole along with two consecutive life sentences for murdering three people and attempting to murder two others in a 2017 workplace shooting. Mr. Prince was further sentenced to 20 years for use of a handgun during the commission of a crime of violence and 15 years for being a felon in possession of a handgun concurrent to the last life sentence. All of these sentences are consecutive to the 40 years Mr. Prince is serving for a related crime in Delaware.

On the morning of October 18, 2017, deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office responded to an active shooter situation at a granite company in Edgewood, Maryland. Upon arrival, deputies discovered the bodies 53 year-old Bayarsaikhan Tudev, 34 year-old Jose Hildago Romero and 48 year-old Enis Mrvoljak who had all succumbed to gunshot wounds to their heads. Deputies also located two other victims, Enoc Sosa and Jose Roberto Flores Gillen, who had similarly suffered gunshot wounds to their heads, but survived. All of the victims were employees of the granite company.

The resulting investigation, which included multiple eyewitnesses and video surveillance, clearly revealed that a co-employee, defendant Radee Prince, executed Mr. Tudev, Mr. Romero and Mr. Mrvoljak and severely wounded Mr. Sosa and Mr. Gillen with a semi-automatic handgun. Mr. Prince then left the scene immediately after the shooting, entering a black SUV and driving away. He was eventually captured in Wilmington, Delaware following a subsequent shooting.

“I am very pleased with this outcome,” said Mr. Peisinger. “This man deserved nothing less than the maximum penalty afforded by law for these vicious crimes.” Mr. Peisinger further stated: “Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and we hope that today’s sentence brings some measure of comfort to them. As this prosecution and today’s sentence shows, we will not waver in our commitment to eradicating brutal and senseless instances of violence such as this to ensure the safety of our communities.”

Mr. Peisinger further thanked the jurors who deliberated the case, the Honorable Yolanda Curtin and all of the Harford County Circuit Court judges, staff and personnel for diligently and patiently conducting the proceedings in a challenging environment due to the ongoing pandemic. He also praised the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the Aberdeen Police Department, the Bel Air Police Department, the Maryland State Police, the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as all other first responders for their joint efforts in rendering aid at the scene and for the extensive investigation that led to this outcome. Additionally, he commended Assistant State’s Attorneys Angela Diehl, Timothy Doory and Cyndi Adkins for their incredible advocacy that resulted in this sentence.