Man Sentenced for Obstruction

A D.C. Superior Court judge sent a Southeast Washington man to prison this week for 11 to 33 years for illegally trying to sway a juror in the weapons trial of a friend, the U.S. attorney's office announced yesterday.

Judge Linda Turner Hamilton ordered James Evans, 24, to serve a sentence similar to those of his accomplices. Chavez Smith had been sentenced to 13 to 39 years, and James McGee had received a 10- to 30-year sentence for their roles in the obstruction case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Sweeney said in court that a jury was selected in February to hear a weapons case against Smith. The next day, the three men surrounded a juror and repeated, "Remember, not guilty." The frightened juror reported the incident to U.S. marshals.

After a mistrial, a new jury convicted Smith in the weapons case and he was sentenced to 400 days behind bars, the U.S. attorney's office reported.

Ex-City Workers Sentenced in Cab Scam

Two former D.C. government employees were sentenced yesterday for their part in a scheme to sell inspection stickers to owners of taxicab companies.

Daryl Johnson and Leon Depp were among 33 people convicted of bribery and other charges in Operation Free Ride, a 14-month federal and local investigation into the illegal sale of inspection stickers. The two worked as motor vehicle inspectors from the early 1990s until their arrest in April 1998.

Johnson, 40, of Temple Hills, was sentenced to 46 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. Depp, 36, of Hyattsville, was sentenced to a 29-month term. The men were convicted after a jury trial in December.

Under D.C. law, taxicabs must be inspected every six months, and inspectors are supposed to follow a checklist covering 60 safety items. Prosecutors said Johnson and Depp sold valid stickers for use on cabs that weren't inspected, charging $50 and up. They estimated that nearly 1,000 illegal stickers were sold by the various participants in the scheme.

Drug-Ring Leader Gets 20 Years

A Maryland woman who prosecutors said led a ring that sold up to $2 million in crack cocaine in downtown Washington was sentenced yesterday to a 20-year prison term on drug conspiracy charges.

Crystal Jefferson, 34, of Mount Rainier, was among 12 people convicted of running a drug ring in the area of Ninth Street and New York Avenue NW, prosecutors said. The operation fell apart in August 1996 after two members of the drug-selling ring were caught by police hiding crack cocaine in the diaper of a 2-year-old girl.


Fairfax Man Charged in Slaying

A Fairfax County man was arrested yesterday and charged with murder in a July 1 shooting death in the Hybla Valley area.

Police said Daniel Brandon, 32, of the 7900 block of Janna Lee Avenue, was shot multiple times in the upper body as he stood at Tamarind Street and El Soneta Place. A week later, police found a handgun in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred and traced it to Tarik Williams.

Williams, 21, of the 6000 block of Richmond Highway, was an acquaintance of Brandon's, police said. Detectives later developed information that led to the arrest of Williams early yesterday on a charge of murder. Police would not disclose a motive for the killing or what information led them to arrest Williams. Williams was being held without bond last night in the Fairfax County jail.

Man Shot by Fauquier Deputy After Chase

A 21-year-old man was shot twice by a Fauquier County sheriff's sergeant yesterday after he led police on a chase following a shooting spree that left two people injured, authorities said.

Casey Lee Russell, of Marshall, was listed in fair condition at Fauquier Hospital, where he was held under guard. One of the men he allegedly shot, Sammy B. Lambert, 33, of Marshall, was listed in stable condition at Fauquier Hospital with gunshot wounds to his thighs. Andre L. Ross, 26, of the Plains, was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital for treatment of injuries to his leg and pelvis.

Witnesses said Russell confronted Lambert and Ross in a supermarket parking lot in Marshall after he saw the men talking to his sister. Russell later returned with a handgun and began firing, hitting the two men, witnesses said.

Police said Russell then drove away, firing several shots randomly. His vehicle was later spotted by police, who rammed it off Route 55 near Route 721. Russell ignored commands to put up his hands before he was shot twice in the upper body by Fauquier County Sheriff's Sgt. Jerry Wayne Apffel, authorities said.