Statement by Chief Marcus G. Jones of the Montgomery County Department of Police

The Montgomery County Department of Police is committed to addressing all calls for service and investigating all crimes occurring within Montgomery County.

The COVID-19 crisis has presented challenges to all our communities. Our officers remain particularly focused on the protection of life and property, and the investigation of serious crime.  Additionally, our officers are addressing Governor Hogan’s Executive Order with an emphasis on voluntary compliance.  During this time, we will be prioritizing our resources and responses toward the COVID-19 crisis and other priority law enforcement needs.  Rest assured, reported crimes requiring follow-up by investigators will continue to occur and we remain committed to assisting victims of crime.  As we continue to persevere through this crisis. the main focus of our officers will be to address the pandemic and other serious events with immediate impacts to public safety.

Our officers remain vigilant and our detectives remain resolute in investigating all manner of crime within the county.

 

Update: Officer-Involved Shooting in Potomac; Additional Information Released

On March 12, 2020, detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police, with the assistance of the Special Operations Division – Tactical Unit, served a high-risk search warrant at a residence located in the 12200 block of St. James Road in Potomac, Maryland.

The search warrant was related to an investigation into a suspect identified as Duncan Socrates Lemp, age 21, of the 12200 block of St. James Road in Potomac, Maryland.

Detectives assigned to the Investigative Services Bureau received an anonymous tip at the beginning of the year, indicating that Lemp was in possession of firearms. Due to his criminal history as a juvenile, Lemp was prohibited from legally possessing or purchasing firearms in the State of Maryland until the age of 30. During their investigation, detectives learned of a number of firearms that Lemp was in possession of, to include various rifles and handguns that would ultimately be recovered from the residence. Detectives applied for and received a no-knock search warrant for the crimes of possession of an assault weapon and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

The search warrant on March 12, 2020, was served in the early morning hours, consistent with Montgomery County Department of Police practice. The officers entering the residence announced themselves as police and that they were serving a search warrant. Officers gave commands for individuals inside the residence to show their hands and to get on the ground. Upon making contact with Lemp, officers identified themselves as the police and gave him multiple orders to show his hands and comply with the officer’s commands to get on the ground. Lemp refused to comply with the officer’s commands and proceeded towards the interior bedroom door where other officers were located. Upon entrance by officers into Lemp’s bedroom, Lemp was found to be in possession of a rifle and was located directly in front of the interior bedroom entrance door.

During the service of the search warrant a device was discovered affixed to the inside frame of the exterior door leading to Lemp’s bedroom. Montgomery County Fire Marshals responded in order to render the device safe. The device was designed as a “booby trap” intended to detonate a shotgun shell at the direction of anyone entering through the exterior door into Lemp’s bedroom.  After officers entered the bedroom, the other occupant of the room warned the officers to be careful of the device rigged to the exterior door.  Statements from other occupants of the residence indicated they were aware of the dangerous device on the door.

Further statements from the other occupant in Lemp’s bedroom indicated that he slept with the rifle each night. Contrary to some information reported to the media, the same occupant also indicated that Lemp was out of the bed and standing directly in front of the interior bedroom door at the time the officers made entry into the bedroom.

Items collected from the residence included three rifles and two handguns as well as other items of evidentiary value.

This remains an ongoing investigation by the Major Crimes Division.

pic of handgun

Picture of Handgun Seized on Incident Scene

Pic of Rifle

Picture of EA Rifle Seized on Incident Scene

pic of P80 handgun

Picture of P80 Handgun Seized on Incident Scene

pic of Springfield Armory Rifle

Picture of Springfield Armory Rifle Seized on Incident Scene

pic of Tavor Rifle

Picture of Tavor Rifle Seized on Incident Scene

 

 

Detectives Investigate Police Impersonator Incident

Pic of Yerko Pallominy-Arce

Yerko Pallominy-Arce

Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – Vice and Intelligence Unit are further investigating an incident involving a person representing himself as a police officer and conducting a traffic stop.

On February 22, 2020, officers from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Police observed an orange-colored Scion with flashing red and blue lights on the shoulder of the Inter-County Connector (ICC) during what appeared to be a traffic stop of another vehicle.  Further investigation by the DNR officers revealed that the driver of the Scion had conducted a traffic stop by using flashing red and blue lights to pull over another vehicle.  The driver of the Scion was subsequently arrested for impersonating a Police Officer and other related charges.

Arrested was Yerko Pallominy-Arce, age 30, of Upper Rock Circle in Rockville.  Pallominy-Arce was processed by the DNR Police and turned over to the Central Processing Unit.  He has a court date set for March 21, 2020.

Detectives are now investigating whether other traffic stops were conducted by Pallominy-Arce.  Detectives ask to speak with anyone who was contacted or pulled over by Pallominy-Arce posing as a police officer.  Anyone with additional information regarding Pallominy-Arce or similar incidents is asked to contact the Vice and Intelligence Unit at 240-773-5958.

Photos of Yerko Pallominy-Arce and his vehicle are included in the release.

Pic of Scion driven by Pallominy-Arce

Scion used by Yerko Pallominy-Arce

 

Pic of Scion

Picture of Scion similar to one used by Yerko Pallominy-Arce

 

Montgomery County Department of Police – Statement on School Threats

Since the beginning of the school year, Montgomery County has experienced several threats directed at schools throughout the County.  These threats, directed toward other students and/or the school community, have come in various forms, but primarily social media.  Some of these threats have been direct while others have used suggestive words and/or images.  These threats have proven not to be credible after detectives had conducted thorough investigations.

Many of the people making these threats have motives that range from wanting to disrupt school activities to making the threat as a prank.

The Montgomery County Department of Police fully investigates each threat and works to identify the person or persons responsible for making the threat.  If a person makes threats, regardless whether it is a prank, he/she can be criminally charged.  Charges may vary, but threats to schools can include the following:

  • Education Article 26-101-Disorderly Conduct/Disruption of School Activities
  • Criminal Law 3-1001-Threat of Mass Violence
  • Criminal Law 6-107(a)(2)-Threat of Arson/Destructive devices

The Montgomery County Department of Police urges parents to consider the following points:

  1. Monitor your child’s social media and talk to him/her about using social media responsibly.
  2. See something, say something – If you or your child become aware of a threat or other suspicious activity that is concerning, please call police. In regard to social media, please do not share the concerning message – again, call police.
  3. Remind your child that any threat made will be investigated, even if the child’s intention is to be humorous or as a retaliatory prank.

Members of the Montgomery County Department of Police and the Montgomery County Public Schools continue to work in partnership to maintain safe schools for students, staff, and our community.

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CTJ

Police Advise Residents that School Season Starts Next Week; Watch for School Buses

As we approach a new school year next week, the Montgomery County Department of Police are reminding all residents to be vigilant and pay attention to school buses as they pick-up and drop off children throughout the day.

This year, all Montgomery County School buses will be equipped with safety cameras that will capture the images of drivers who neglect to stop for school buses in the process of dropping off and picking up school children.  Negligent drivers will receive a civil citation with a fine starting at $250 with penalties going up to $500.

Drivers are required to stop in both directions for any school bus with it’s lights on and STOP sign extended who is in the process of picking up or dropping off children.  Unless there is a physical median divider, you are required to stop for the buses even if you are in the opposite lanes of traffic.

Click here for more information on stopping for school buses:  School Bus – Stopping (Note: Automated Fines are now $250)

Our goal is to have every child make it to school and return home safely every single day.  Attached are school bus safety camera footage showing just how dangerous failing to stop for school buses has become.

Last year, over 54,000 school bus safety citations were issued to drivers who failed to stop for school buses.

The failure by drivers to stop for school buses can result in catastrophic consequences.  There is absolutely no reason to hurry and drive impatiently that is worth the loss of or injury to any of our children.

Please be advised, some of these videos can be difficult to watch.  Parental advisement is recommended.

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CTJ