PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTYCoach Charged in EmbezzlementA Dale City football coach, who has led youngsters and semipro teams for years, has been charged with embezzling from a youth athletic league, Prince William County authorities said yesterday. Ray Scott, 59, of Simmons Lane was indicted this month by a grand jury on one charge of embezzlement. Prince William police said Scott took more than $30,000 from the Dale City Youth Athletic Club, which he directed.

The money was taken between May 2004 and June 2005 and was supposed to fund uniforms, equipment and insurance, Prince William Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert said.

If convicted, Scott could face up to 20 years in prison. Scott, who is free on bond until his trial March 9, did not return calls for comment.

Scott also is head coach of a the Prince William Monarchs semipro team.

-- Theresa VargasNORTHERN NECK GROUNDWATEREPA Checks for ContaminationFederal cleanup crews are trying to determine whether groundwater has been contaminated at an illegal chemical dump on the Northern Neck that contains at least 1,000 deteriorating drums leaking tar and toxic substances. The rusting drums probably hold heavy oil removed from the Chesapeake Bay shoreline after an oil spill in 1976, officials said. The chemicals in the barrels include benzopyrene, a potential carcinogen found in petroleum products, said David Sternberg, a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA is investigating how the drums ended up on the site and has budgeted $2 million to remove them and take other measures to restore the wooded area, Sternberg said. About 40 homes are within a mile of the dump, off state Route 605 in Lancaster County, and many of them use wells.

The EPA learned of the dump after a hunter came upon the drums in the fall, County Administrator William H. Pennell Jr. said.

-- Associated PressHENRY COUNTYOfficer Pleads Guilty to Gun CountA former officer charged in a federal investigation of corruption in a rural sheriff's department pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of possessing stolen firearms. Patrick Martin, who was a sergeant in the vice unit of the Henry County Sheriff's Department, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. In exchange for his plea in U.S. District Court, prosecutors dropped two other weapons counts.

Martin was among 13 members of the department, including then-Sheriff H. Franklin Cassell, and seven civilians indicted in the fall in a scheme to sell drugs and other evidence seized from criminals. Thirteen other defendants named in the indictment have pleaded guilty to charges that include racketeering conspiracy, narcotics distribution, weapons counts and obstruction of justice. Guilty pleas from two others are expected by next week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Bondurant said.

A trial for Cassell, who is charged with impeding federal officers' investigation and money laundering, is set for June.

-- Associated Press