2 Charged in Racially Motivated Graffiti Incidents

Community tips help solve Charles County case, officials say

CHARLES COUNTY, Md. -- Two people were charged Wednesday in connection with racially motivated vandalism that was spraypainted on buildings in different areas of Charles County last week.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office charged Ronald Christopher Smythers, 21, of La Plata, and Kenneth Allen Sanders, 19, of Indian Head, with five counts each of malicious destruction of property.  The State's Attorney is currently reviewing the evidence to see if it can be prosecuted as a hate crime.

“The charges are significant on so many levels but perhaps, most importantly, is that they tell our community that we consider crimes of this nature to be very serious and that we will pursue every investigative lead to identify and arrest those responsible for these terrible crimes,” Sheriff Rex Coffey said.

Smythers and Allen were identified as suspects after officers received tips about their possible involvement, and
an subsequent investigation linked them to the incidents, according to the sheriff's office.

On February 16, officers arrested Smythers and on February 17, Allen was served a criminal summons issued by a district court commissioner.

Officers said the crimes were isolated incidents and were not specific to an organized group or gang.

Investigators are continuing their investigation to determine if other suspects were involved and whether or not they can be linked to any other vandalisms in the area.

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Anyone with additional information should contact the Charles County Sheriff’s Office at (301) 609-2222, and callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.
 

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