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Rape Reported between Gaithersburg and Germantown

     Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division are investigating a rape that occurred during the early morning hours of Sunday, September 26 in a wooded area near Route 355 and High Point Drive in Germantown.

      At approximately 3:30 a.m., Gaithersburg Police Officers were flagged down at the 7-Eleven located on Professional Drive for the report of a rape that had just occurred.  The preliminary investigation revealed that the 21-year-old female victim from Silver Spring was walking toward the 7-Eleven on Professional Drive.  As she was walking southbound on Frederick Road just south of High Point Drive she was grabbed from behind and forced into a wooded area where she was assaulted by an unknown male.  After the assault, the suspect fled in a southerly direction on Frederick Road.

Germantown Man Who Impersonated a Federal Immigration Agent Pleads Guilty

        Robert Fred Mejia, age 29, of Germantown, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to transport money obtained by fraud across state lines and to  impersonate an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) officer; and to transporting money obtained by fraud, in connection with a scheme to purportedly provide immigration services.  Mejia also pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of ammunition.

        The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Homeland Security Investigations; Special Agent in Charge Peter P. Paradis, Sr. of the Department of Homeland Security - Office of Inspector General; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

Maryland Cell Phone Ban Begins

Maryland residents and those residents who travel through Maryland need to know that on Friday, October 1, 2010 (this Friday) - cell phone use will become illegal while driving. The offense will be a "secondary" offense, meaning that offenders can only be cited with it if they are pulled over for another primary offense like speeding or running a red light.

Beginning on Friday, people who wish to make a call while driving MUST use a hands free device. The fine will be $40 for the first offense and $100 for subsequent violations of the law.

Texting while driving has been illegal for some time now and already carries a fine.

Maryland is following suit with several other states with cellular phone bans while in operation of a motor vehicle, but it is one of the only (if not the only) state to list the law as a "secondary" offense.

Five Charged Crime Spree after Germantown Shooting

The Gazette reports that Montgomery County Police charged five men Thursday in connection with a series of home invasion robberies, commercial robberies, street robberies and burglaries dating back to March 23.

The crimes were committed throughout Germantown and Gaithersburg and in Prince George's County, police said.

Patrol officers responded to the 11800 block of Ashbrook Court in Germantown at 2:20 a.m. Thursday after a shooting was reported at a residence.

When officers arrived, they found the five men standing in front of the residence next to a vehicle, police spokesman Cpl. Dan Friz said.

Police ran a check on the vehicle, and found that it had been stolen from a 70-year-old woman during a home invasion robbery in Prince George's County earlier in the week, Friz said.

Police also found items in the vehicle related to an armed robbery committed Monday. One of those items was a handgun, Friz said.