Two More Gang Members Plead Guilty

Other defendants sentenced to prison for drug, rape and burglary charges

A total of 26 members of the Only My Brothers (OMB) gang have now pled guilty to charges included in the 2016 indictment related to the activities of OMB after 2 more members entered pleas and were sentenced in Superior Court. The charges represent the first adult felony convictions for both defendants.

  • Aaron Watson, 17, of Chester, PA pled guilty to Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon and Conspiracy Second Degree. A Superior Court judge sentenced Watson to 2 years of probation. Deputy Attorney General Ryan Bounds prosecuted the case.
  • Kyaire Henry, 18, of Wilmington pled guilty to Gang Participation, Conspiracy Second Degree, and Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon. A judge sentenced Henry to 1 year in prison, followed by 6 months of either home confinement or work release then 18 months of probation. Deputy Attorney General Mark Denney prosecuted the case against Henry.

A 28-year-old Wilmington man will spend more than 4 years in prison for his role in a money laundering and drug operation. Christian Cortes was a courier in the “Operation Duck Hunt” case that resulted in the seizure of a kilogram of heroin and $130,000. A Superior Court Judge sentenced Cortes for his March 2017 guilty plea to Drug Dealing (Tier 4 Heroin), Money Laundering, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, to a total of 4 years and 90 days in prison, followed by 18 months of probation. Deputy Attorney General Rebecca Anderson prosecuted the case.

A 34-year-old Millsboro man will spend 11 years in prison for the rape of a young child in his care. During the summer of 2016, Gabriel Vargas-Rivera sexually assaulted the child, who was under the age of 12, on numerous occasions. Deputy Attorney General Casey Ewart secured a guilty plea from Vargas-Rivera to 4 counts of Rape Third Degree. A Superior Court judge sentenced Vargas-Rivera to 11 years in prison and the Transitions Sex Offender Treatment Program, followed by 6 months of home confinement, then 10 years of probation. Vargas-Rivera must also register as a Tier III sex offender and have no contact with the victim or anyone under the age of 18.

Deputy Attorney General Matthew Bloom secured a prison sentence for Nicholas Porter, 35, of New Castle, for breaking into multiple cars, stealing one, and then leaving the scene of an accident. In March 2016, Porter broke into multiple cars in the parking lot of the Village of Canterbury Apartments. He stole and crashed one of those cars, a 2006 Chrysler Sebring, into the back of a UPS tractor-trailer on I-95 before fleeing the scene of the accident. In May, a Superior Court jury convicted Porter of several criminal and traffic violations. In June, the court declared Porter a habitual offender based on his prior felony convictions, including a previous burglary. A judge sentenced Porter on two counts of Burglary Third Degree and one count each of Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Driving While Revoked, Careless Driving, and Leaving the Scene of an Accident to 6 years in prison, followed by 6 months of either home confinement or work release, then 18 months of supervised probation.

Prosecutors Secure Sentence For Theft From Vulnerable Family Members

Other defendants face probation and convictions for financial exploitation and armed robbery

Attorneys with the Delaware Department of Justice recently obtained several criminal convictions and sentences:

Alethea Davis-Moses, 46, of Chester, Pennsylvania pled guilty to Financial Exploitation of a Patient in a case handled by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Barchi and Special Investigator Joe Trala. Davis-Moses was a caretaker who withdrew $500 from a resident of a group home without the resident’s consent. The court sentenced Davis-Moses to $500 of restitution, to one year of prison suspended to a year of probation, and ordered to have no contact with the victim or nursing home.

Christopher Szymanski, 45, of Wilmington, faces court-ordered completion of a drug treatment program and probation along with several additional orders secured by Deputy Attorney General Renee Hrivnak on the charges of Theft Felony and Crime Against a Vulnerable Adult, Theft from Senior and Forgery 2nd. Over the course of a year, Szymanski stole checks from his elderly mother and his autistic brother, forged them and cashed them, resulting in over $20,000 from his brother and over $6,000 from his mother. The court sentenced Szymanski to 8 years Level V prison but suspended it upon successful completion of a Level V drug treatment program for 6 months Level IV, followed by a year of Level III probation. Defendant was ordered to undergo substance abuse and mental health evaluations, be monitored by TASC, have no contact with the victims or his co-defendant, and to pay restitution to his brother and a bank.

Deputy Attorney General Christina Kontis secured a guilty plea from Joseph Rosado, 22, of Wilmington. to one count of Robbery 1st Degree, two counts of Robbery 2nd Degree, one count of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony and one count of Reckless Endangering 1st Degree stemming from a series of robberies where defendant brandished a firearm and demanded money. Sentencing is scheduled for October 7, 2016.

Prison Sentences for Murder, Home Invasion, Robbery Obtained By DOJ Prosecutors

Prosecutors within the Delaware Department of Justice recently obtained significant convictions and sentences.

Deputy Attorneys General Ipek Medford and Steve Wood secured two sentences of life without parole, plus five years for 28-year-old Dwight Smith of Wilmington, in connection to a 2011 rape and murder. In December 2011, 65-year-old Marsha Lee of Wilmington was reported missing after her dog returned without her from a morning walk in her neighborhood. Witness told police they heard a woman screaming and saw the driver of a red Hummer SUV put something into his vehicle. Later that day police in Wilmington stopped Smith, who was driving an SUV matching the vehicle’s description. Smith pled guilty but mentally ill to First Degree Murder, First Degree Rape, and Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony.

A 21-year-old Wilmington man will spend 44 years in prison after being sentenced this morning in New Castle County Superior Court. Deputy Attorneys General Mark Denney and Caterina Gatto secured the sentence for Jermaine Booker, who was convicted in January of Assault First Degree, Home Invasion, Robbery First Degree, Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony, Burglary Second Degree, and Misdemeanor Theft. Booker brutally beat a woman in the garage of her home in the 100 block of Cambridge Drive, in Windsor Hills in January 2014. Booker was arrested two days later when police stopped the victim’s car in Newark, New Jersey. The license plate on the vehicle was stolen from the home of a neighbor of the victim, and contained one of Booker’s fingerprints. The breakdown of the sentence is 25 years (maximum) for Assault First Degree, 6 years for Home Invasion, 5 years for Robbery First Degree, 5 years for Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony, 3 years for Burglary Second. In addition, Judge Charles Butler made a special condition, stating on the anniversary of the attack, for the next 20 years, Booker will be placed in solitary confinement as a reminder of the violence he inflicted on the victim.

Deputy Attorney General Casey Ewart secured a guilty plea and 13-year prison sentence for a 2015 bank robbery in Rehoboth Beach. Mark Smith, 28, of Ellendale pled guilty to Robbery 1st and Conspiracy 2nd in connection with the holdup of the Capitol One Bank in the Rehoboth Mall on Old Landing Road. Smith masterminded the heist, and drove the get-away vehicle after his brother Lamar handed a teller a note implying he was armed and demanding cash. Mark Smith was sentenced to 10 years in prison as a habitual offender for the conspiracy charge. For the robbery, he was sentenced to 20 years at Level V, suspended after 3 years for 1year Level IV, followed by 5 years of Level III probation. Lamar Smith pled guilty in October 2015, and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence.

Deputy Attorney General Casey Ewart resolved a case involving Lee Harper, 31, of Trappe, Maryland, who pled to Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, two counts of Reckless Endangering, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and Driving Under the Influence. After a night of drinking in August 2015, Harper fired a shotgun into the door of a home in the 200 block of West 8th Street in Laurel. Harper’s girlfriend is the former girlfriend of the male resident of the home. Harper was sentenced to 3 years in prison and the successful completion of the Key Program, followed by two years Level III probation.

Deputy Attorney General Renee Hrivnak secured a plea from Christopher Szymanski, 45, of Wilmington, to charges of Felony Theft, Theft from a Senior, Forgery 2nd, and Crime Against a Vulnerable Adult. Throughout the spring and summer of 2015, Szymanski stole and forged checks from his mother and developmentally disabled brother. Szymanski is scheduled for sentencing in June.

Gun, Drug, and Fraud Cases Highlight Recent Work of Department of Justice

Prosecutors in the Department of Justice’s Criminal and Fraud and Consumer Protection Divisions had several significant successes recently.

Deputy Attorney General Casey Ewart secured a prison sentence for 27-year old Tyrone Bussey of Yonkers, New York. In March 2015, Bussey, who was staying in his girlfriend’s apartment the 700 block of West 7th Street in Laurel, began arguing about a broken television. Bussey punched the vitim in the face, and also threatened her and her son with a gun. He was convicted in February of two counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, two counts of Aggravated Menacing, Breach of Release, Act of Intimidation, Assault 3rd, two counts of Terroristic Threatening, and four counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Bussey was sentenced to a total of 11 years and 5 months in prison.

Deputy Attorneys General Julie Finocchiaro and Tim Maguire secured a prison sentence for Yanique Rainford, 31, of New Castle. In January 2013, officers tried to stop a car driven by Rainford for illegal drug sales in the 100 block of West Avenue in the Holloway Terrace neighborhood in New Castle, but as police approached, the car took off. Police abandoned the chase after Rainford drove on I-495 and into the city of Wilmington on 12th Street. Two weeks later, an undercover officer contacted Rainford about buying heroin, and Rainford was arrested when he showed up at motel on Route 13 in New Castle to make the sale. Rainford was convicted of Drug Dealing, Conspiracy 2nd, Disregarding a Police Signal, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Resisting Arrest, and Aggressive Driving, and sentenced to nine years in prison.

Deputy Attorneys General Christina Kontis and A.J. Roop won a conviction against 20-year-old Nathaniel Gonzalez of Wilmington. In June 2015, Gonzalez and his brother, Isaiah Gonzalez, shot Gabriel Juarez, Sr., 50, Gabriel Juarez, Jr, 26, and Felipe Cruz-Flores, 26, with shotguns outside of the Gonzalez’s apartment in the Lancaster Court Apartments on Lancaster Pike in Wilmington. Gonzalez was convicted of two counts of Assault 1st, three counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Assault 2nd, and three counts of Conspiracy 2nd.

Deputy Attorney General Barzilai Axelrod secured a sentence for Derrick Carroll, 26, of Elkton, Maryland, after a jury convicted the defendant on charges of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, and Possession of Ammunition by a Person Prohibited. In February 2015, Carroll, who was staying at the Roadway Inn in the 1100 block of South College Avenue in Newark, was linked to a car in the parking lot of the hotel which had been reported stolen during a home invasion in Elkton. Elkton Police had asked the Newark Police Department for assistance in the investigation of the crime. While executing a search warrant on the room, police found a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver and loose ammunition. Carroll was sentenced to six years in prison, followed by six months at Level IV work release, and 2 years Level III probation.

Deputy Attorney General Gillian Andrews of the Consumer Protection Unit secured a prison sentence for a defendant who victimized numerous Delaware consumers through home improvement frauds for HVAC services. Andrew Wilson, 36, of Clayton, was sentenced to the statutory maximum for three counts of home improvement fraud. Although Wilson lacked the requisite HVAC license to perform such services in Delaware, he typically found his victims by working as a technician for legitimate HVAC businesses and then solicited those consumers for often unnecessary heater and air conditioner replacement services which he claimed he could provide outside of his employer for a cheaper rate. Wilson would take a down payment and fail to return to perform any work, or would install lower standard equipment than what the consumers had ordered, and perform the installation in an unworkmanlike manner, usually requiring removal and replacement by a legitimate HVAC contractor. Wilson also advertised himself on Craigslist as an HVAC contractor. Overall, Mr. Wilson defrauded the 5 known victims of approximately $27,000. Wilson will serve 2 ½ years in prison followed by 3 ½ years of probation. Terms of Wilson’s sentence also include injunctions preventing him from soliciting or advertising for home improvement services in the future, and a requirement that this conviction be disclosed to any future employers or consumers. DOJ Special Investigator Alan Rachko was also instrumental in prosecuting this case.

Laurel Woman Pleads to Theft and Forgery Charges

Kimberly Parker, 49, of Laurel, pled guilty April 15, 2016, to two counts of Felony Theft Greater Than $1500, and one count of Felony Second Degree Forgery.

In December 2015, Parker was employed as a teacher in the Laurel School District. An investigation by Laurel Police showed she stole $2,550 from the Laurel Elementary School, as well as $36,191.42 from the Laurel Education Association, where she was considered a “person of trust.”

At the time of her plea, Parker tendered restitution in the amount of $2,550 for the PTO, and tendered an initial payment of $20,000 for the teachers union.

Parker will be sentenced on June 10, 2016.