From Staff Reports
OAKLAND — Friendsville resident Bryan Matthew VanBogelen, 27, was sentenced in Garret County Circuit Court to serve 18 months in jail for burglary, theft and forgery charges, according to Garrett County State’s Attorney Lisa Thayer Welch.
VanBogelen was sentenced to five years for first-degree burglary, three years for conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary, three years for forgery and 30 days for theft, with all but 18 months suspended. Upon release, VanBogelen will be on probation with conditions that include the payment of restitution to the various victims.
Maryland State Police, who placed the forgery charge, re-ceived a report from VanBogelen’s ex-wife that a check from her account had been written without her knowledge and presented to a business in Friends-ville in April.
State police also charged VanBogelen with a series of burglary and thefts that occurred in the Accident area in February. The conspiracy to commit se-cond–degree burglary stems from an incident that occurred when VanBogelen and co-defendant Kristi Bliss entered a storage building of a business and stole numerous firearms.
Some of those guns, which were recovered by police, led back to VanBogelen and Bliss, according to Welch.
Around the time of the gun thefts, owners of two nearby residences also reported burglaries and thefts. VanBogelen pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary of a house along Sam Friend Road from which he and Bliss stole tools and other household items. VanBogelen pleaded guilty to theft for stealing a television from a second residence along Sam Friend Road that was also entered by Bliss, according to Welch.
Bliss has entered similar pleas in these cases and is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
In a separate case, a 43-year-old man who had pleaded guilty in circuit court in December to two charges of sexual abuse of a minor was sentenced to 20 years in the Maryland Division of Correction for each charge, to run concurrently. Five years of the sentence was suspended and upon release he will be on probation for five years. The name of the defendant was withheld by Welch in an attempt to protect the identity of the victims.
State police begun investigating the matter in January when explicit photographs of prepubescent females that had been posted to an online bulletin board were observed by Homeland Security investigators.
Information contained in the photos led to Garrett County and the victims were located by investigators. The defendant admitted to taking the photos in addition to a number of videos in which the victims were exploited, according to Welch.
The events were confirmed to have occurred in Garrett County between December 2010 and March 2011.
In a third case, Michael Duane Thompson, 30, of Crellin pleaded guilty to manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance by growing marijuana plants. Judge Jim Sherbin sentenced Thompson to six months in the Garrett County Jail and imposed more than $1,100 in court costs, according to Welch.
The Garrett County Narcotics Task Force had executed a search and seizure warrant at Thompson’s residence in August and arrested him.
A total of three marijuana plants as well as various items of CDS paraphernalia and small quantities of marijuana were seized, according to Welch.