February 3, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
DEFENDANTS FOUND GUILTY IN STOLEN GUN RING,
WEAPONS RECOVERED IN BALTIMORE CITY, AA COUNTY
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that three individuals
have been found guilty for their role in the importation and sale
of handguns that were stolen from a security company located in
Virginia. Cheryl Kimberly Shorter, 28, CDon Chezere Thompson,
20, both of 3600 Ninth Street, Baltimore, and Evelyn Renee Alston,
28, 1014 Love Point Road, Stevensville, have all been found guilty
for various criminal offenses, and are currently awaiting sentencing.
The facts underlying the criminal convictions are that on May 15,
2002, officers with the Anne Arundel County Police Department received
information that two females in a silver Nissan Pathfinder were
attempting to sell handguns in the Freetown Village section of Glen
Burnie. Officers conducted a traffic stop and discovered that Shorter
was the operator of the vehicle and Alston a passenger. After Shorter
gave consent for the officers to search her vehicle, they located
three Smith & Wesson .38 Special Revolvers and 100 rounds of
ammunition, all of which were contained in a black backpack.
Further investigation revealed that the firearms belonged to Argenbright
Security Company, of Arlington, Virginia. A company representative
confirmed that 12 guns had been recently stolen, and that Shorter
was a current employee of their company. Thompson, her boyfriend
at the time, was a former employee. Upon questioning, Shorter admitted
stealing the firearms and bringing them to her home. Shorter further
stated that she and Thompson planned on selling the weapons because
she needed money for a new car. When Alston was later interviewed
by the Maryland State Police, she admitted to helping Shorter locate
people in Freetown who would be interested in buying the guns because
she also needed money.
In an attempt to locate the remaining stolen weapons, a search was
conducted at the Baltimore residence of Shorter and Thompson. Three
more stolen Smith & Wesson .38 Special Revolvers and approximately
400 rounds of ammunition were found and seized. When asked where
the remaining stolen guns were, Shorter stated that Thompson must
have taken them. Further investigation showed that Thompson sold
at least four of the handguns already. Thompson was located, taken
into custody, and then interviewed regarding his role in the sale
of the stolen weapons. Thompson stated that Shorter had come home
with the stolen guns, which they decided to sell on the street.
Thompson admitted to selling four of the guns, but claimed he did
not know the buyers name or where he could be located. Troopers
from the Maryland State Police are currently looking for this individual.
Subsequently, an additional stolen weapon from Argenbright was recovered
during the execution of an unrelated drug search warrant in Baltimore
City. Investigation as to how that individual obtained one of the
stolen weapons, and the whereabouts of the remaining unrecovered
stolen handguns, is ongoing.
activities of these individuals illustrates perfectly how the existing
gun culture threatens our communities and neighborhoods so pervasively,"
Attorney General Curran said. "We will continue our efforts
to follow and block the trails of illegal guns and, in doing so,
hopefully prevent the tragedies that follow closely behind."
Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Alfred Nance found Shorter guilty
of committing: six counts of Importation of a Regulated Firearm
for Illegal Sale, one count of Possession of Stolen Property Valued
More than $500, and one count of Conspiracy to Illegally Sell Regulated
Firearms. Shorter is scheduled to be sentenced on these charges
on February 28, 2003. The State is seeking 10 years incarceration,
with all but five years suspended. Moreover, Shorter still has charges
arising out of this case pending in the Anne Arundel County Circuit
Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge John M. Glynn found Thompson
guilty of committing: four counts of Illegal Possession of a Stolen
Regulated Firearm, one count of Illegal Possession of a Regulated
Firearm by a Minor, and one count of Illegal Sale of a Regulated
Firearm. Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced on these charges
on February 27, 2003. The State is seeking 10 years incarceration,
with all but three years suspended. Thompson also has charges arising
out of this case pending in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court,
and he is scheduled to appear on those charges on February 13, 2003.
Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Joseph P. Manck found Alston
guilty of committing: three counts of Illegal Possession of a Stolen
Regulated Firearm, one count of Unlawful Transportation of a Handgun,
and one count of Conspiracy to Illegally Sell Regulated Firearms.
Alston is scheduled to be sentenced on these charges on March 6,
2003. The State is seeking eight years with all but 18 months suspended.
This case was investigated by the Maryland State Police Cease Fire
Unit and Anne Arundel County Police Department, with assistance
provided by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
and the Baltimore City Police Department. The case was prosecuted
by the Firearms Trafficking Unit of the Office of the Attorney General
under Operation Crime Gun, which is funded from grants received
from the Governors Office on Crime Control and Prevention,
and the Maryland State Police Cease Fire Council.