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For Immediate Release
August 8, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

CURRAN GUN UNIT BUSTS UP STOLEN GUN "RING"
TWO CHARGED ON 92 COUNTS, OTHERS PENDING
GUNS BELIEVED STOLEN FROM VA SECURITY COMPANY

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that charges were filed against two individuals believed to be connected to a stolen gun ring operating out of Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County. The charges are part of Curran’s illegal gun prosecution initiative, Operation Crime Gun. Cheryl Kimberly Shorter, 28, and C’Don Chezere Thompson, 20, 3600 Ninth Street, in Baltimore, were each charged in connection with the illegal importation and sale of stolen handguns in Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City.

The factual allegations underlying the criminal charges are that Shorter worked for Argenbright Security in Virginia, and stole 12 handguns from an office safe on May 13, 2002. Shorter then brought the guns from Virginia to her home in Baltimore City, where she and her boyfriend, Thompson, conspired to illegally sell the guns. On May 15, 2002, Shorter traveled to Freetown, Anne Arundel County, to sell the handguns. Based on an informant’s tip received by police, she was arrested by the Anne Arundel County Police Department for possessing three of the stolen weapons along with ammunition. A subsequent search of Shorter and Thompson’s residence uncovered three more handguns stolen from Argenbright Security. Police also learned that four other handguns had already been illegally sold by Thompson in Baltimore City. One of the sold stolen guns was recovered from a home in Baltimore during the execution of a search warrant by Baltimore Police officers in connection with a drug investigation.

Shorter and Thompson were both charged in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court by way of criminal information. Shorter was charged with the following 14 counts: Illegal Possession of a Stolen Regulated Firearm (three counts), Importation of Regulated Firearms for Illegal Sale (three counts), Possession of Stolen Property Valued Less than $500 (three counts), Possession of Stolen Property Valued More than $500 - Scheme, Unlawful Transportation of Handgun (three counts), and Conspiracy to Illegally Sell Regulated Firearms. A scheduling conference is set for this matter on September 13th. Thompson was charged with the following 11 counts: Illegal Possession of a Stolen Regulated Firearm (three counts), Possession of Stolen Property Valued Less than $500 (three counts), Possession of Stolen Property Valued More than $500 - Scheme, Unlawful Transportation of Handgun (three counts), and Conspiracy to Illegally Sell Regulated Firearms. An initial appearance is scheduled for Thompson on August 26th.


Shorter and Thompson were also both charged in Baltimore City Circuit Court by way of criminal information. Shorter was charged with the following 39 counts: Illegal Possession of a Stolen Regulated Firearm (12 counts), Importation of Regulated Firearms for Illegal Sale (12 counts), Possession of Stolen Property Valued Less than $500 (12 counts), Possession of Stolen Property Valued More than $500 - Scheme, Conspiracy to Illegally Sell Regulated Firearms, and Illegal Sale of a Regulated Firearm. Her arraignment on these charges is set for September 5th.
Thompson was charged with the following 28 counts: Illegal Possession of a Stolen Regulated Firearm (12 counts), Possession of Stolen Property Valued Less than $500 (12 counts), Possession of Stolen Property Valued More than $500 - Scheme, Conspiracy to Illegally Sell Regulated Firearms, Illegal Possession of a Regulated Firearm by a Minor, and Illegal Sale of a Regulated Firearm.

Shorter and Thompson are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The maximum penalty for Importation of a Regulated Firearm for Illegal Sale is 10 years incarceration and/or a $25,000 fine. The maximum penalty for the offenses of Illegal Possession of a Stolen Regulated Firearm, Illegal Possession of a Regulated Firearm by a Minor, Illegal Sale of Regulated Firearms, and Conspiracy to Illegally Sell Regulated Firearms is 5 years incarceration and/or a $10,000 fine. The maximum penalty for Unlawful Transportation of a Handgun is 3 years incarceration and/or a $2,500 fine. The maximum penalty for Possession of Stolen Property Valued More than $500 is 15 years incarceration and/or a $1,000 fine, and 18 months incarceration and/or a $500 fine for Possession of Stolen Property Valued Less than $500. Thompson is still being held in the Baltimore City Detention Center on a $75,000 bail.

This case was investigated by the Anne Arundel County Police Department and Maryland State Police, and will be prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General, Firearms Trafficking Unit, Criminal Investigations Division. Funding for Operation Crime Gun comes from a grants received from the Governor’s Office on Crime Control and Prevention, and the Maryland State Police Cease Fire Council.

A subsequent investigation is being conducted by the Maryland State Police, and more individuals involved in this stolen gun "ring" are expected to be charged.

 

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