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Md. juvenile detention center employee pleads guilty to stealing frozen crab legs

A former dietary manager at a juvenile detention center in Maryland has pleaded guilty to illegally using a state-issued credit card to purchase more than 15,000 pounds of frozen crab legs and shrimp.

Douglas Allen Fairfax, 42, of Hagerstown, pleaded guilty in Frederick County Circuit Court to one count of felony theft for activities that occurred while he worked at the Victor Cullen Center in Sabillasville, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) announced Wednesday.

Gansler’s office said an investigation determined that Fairfax used the state-issued credit card to purchase bulk seafood between January 2011 and February 2012 that he then sold to restaurants, keeping the profits. The scheme cost taxpayers more than $94,000, Gansler’s office said. Sentencing is scheduled for July 31.

The Victor Cullen Center is a secure facility that serves up to 48 male youths between ages of 15 and 18.

According to a release issued by Gansler’s office: “Crab legs are not served at state juvenile facilities, and shrimp may be provided only on occasion.”

“When state employees violate the public’s expectation that they do their job with integrity, we will prosecute and send the message that such actions will not go unpunished,” Gansler said in a statement.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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