Regional roundup: Police look into woman’s death; guilty plea in Baltimore jail case

September 23, 2013
THE REGION
THE DISTRICT
Police investigating death of woman

D.C. police on Monday continued to investigate the death of a woman whose body was found in a closet in a home in Northeast Washington over the weekend.

Police have not released the identity of the woman, found in a house in the 1300 block of Adams Street NE at about 10 a.m. Saturday. A cause of death is pending based on an autopsy by the medical examiner’s office. Authorities said they planned to release an identification after notifying relatives.

— Keith L. Alexander

MARYLAND
Officer guilty in jail drug-smuggling case

A corrections officer pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to smuggling drugs into the Baltimore City Detention Center for members of the Black Guerrilla Family gang.

Adrena Rice, 25, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for “frequently” bringing marijuana and pills into the detention center on the behalf of Tavon White, prosecutors said in court.

Rice, who appeared in court in pink jeans and a leather jacket, did not speak other than to respond to the judge when he asked if she understood the terms of the plea agreement. Her attorney declined to comment afterward.

Rice worked as a corrections officer at the jail from 2009 until this year.

A federal grand jury has indicted 25 people, including 13 female jail officers, on racketeering and other charges as a result of the drug smuggling and corruption allegations at the downtown facility.

Three others — White and corrections officers Jennifer Owens and Katera Stevenson, who had a child with White — have pleaded guilty in the case.

Rice’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8.

— Baltimore Sun

Seized coral given to National Aquarium

A shipment of illegally imported coral seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents has found a new home and purpose.

CBP officials donated the coral seized last March at the port in Tampa to the National Aquarium in Baltimore to be used as educational tools as part of the aquarium’s Blacktip Reef exhibit and as part of outreach efforts.

Officials said the corals — 20 pieces of Seriatopora hystrix (known as birds nest coral) and 22 pieces of Pocillopora damicornis — were cut from reefs off the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific.

According to CBP, most species of coral are protected under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, and trade in them requires foreign CITES permits. The convention helps ensure that trade of such species does not threaten their survival.

— Lori Aratant

VIRGINIA
One injured in Manassas explosion

A hydrogen tank detonated Monday and injured one person at a Manassas weapons manufacturer, according to Prince William County fire and rescue officials.

Shortly before noon, an air pressure vessel shot through the roof of the UTRON building at 9441 Innovation Dr., near George Mason University’s Manassas campus and the Governor’s School, a science-oriented public high school. The vessel dropped back into the building.

UTRON’s Web site says research at the facility involves high-velocity gun launch technologies for military clients.

Patty Prince, spokeswoman for the city of Manassas, said the injury has been described as minor.

Hazardous materials teams were investigating, and other experts were evaluating whether the building was structurally sound after the explosion, said Kim Hylander of the county’s Department of Fire and Rescue.

— Susan Svrluga and Jeremy Borden

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