MARYLAND
Life sentence in drug distribution case

A Gaithersburg man was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt to life in prison for distributing a drug more potent than heroin that led to the user’s death.

A federal jury convicted Justin Larson, 30, in January after a three-week trial showed Larson distributed acetyl fentanyl on May 9, 2014, to a user who later died, according to the office of the U.S. attorney for Maryland.

Acetyl fentanyl is similar to the painkiller fentanyl but is up to five times more powerful than heroin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Larson also was convicted of conspiracy to distribute narcotics and multiple counts of possession or attempted possession of a controlled substance and controlled substance analogue with intent to distribute, and one count of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled substance.

— Ellie Silverman

Break-in turns into homicide investigation

Prince George’s County police opened a homicide investigation Saturday after a shooting in a residential neighborhood near Brandywine.

Police spokesman Cpl. Harry Bond said detectives were on the scene of the shooting that left one dead in a home in the 12600 block of Lusbys Lane.

According to police, officers responded to a report of a shooting at about 12:30 p.m. and found a man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a statement posted to Twitter, police said two people broke into a home and exchanged gunfire with people inside the residence. One of the intruders was shot and killed. The other person is at large, Bond said, adding that there is no description of the person who fled.

One of the occupants of the home was taken to a hospital with injuries not considered to be life-threatening, police said in a statement.

Bond said the shooting does not appear to be random and that police are investigating ties between the occupants of the home and the intruders.

The motive for the break-in is under investigation, Bond said.

— Taylor Shapiro

Police nab four suspected thieves

Four men have been charged in connection with a string of residential burglaries and car thefts, including stealing two cars in one day from different houses, Montgomery County police said.

Police caught two of the men after they allegedly used stolen credit cards to purchase items at pharmacies in the District, and later identified the other men through evidence left in a stolen vehicle.

Oussama Kassimi, 25, and Rodrigo Adalberto Miranda, 37, both of an unconfirmed address, and Alejandro Josue Perez, 23, and Gary Johnson, 36, both of Northwest Washington, are linked to burglaries in the neighborhoods of White Oak, Kensington and Chevy Chase Terrace from May to June, police said.

The men face burglary and theft charges and are linked to incidents between May 29 and June 3 in which police said the four often entered occupied homes through unlocked doors or windows.

Online records do not indicate whether any of the men have a lawyer.

— Ellie Silverman