Traffic stop leads to stolen police rifle
Stephen Urban Garland's current legal difficulties began last month when he was accused of driving while high, according to police accounts made public Wednesday.
Montgomery County detectives have now tied Garland, 32, to an earlier break-in of an unmarked police car that was parked outside an officer's home.
Detectives have recovered the officer's Colt M-4 rifle, but other equipment remains missing: Two loaded M-4 magazines, two sets of handcuffs, two Montgomery County Police badges, an ASP baton, and two loaded .40 caliber Glock magazines.
Garland, currently in the county jail, was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, possession of a concealed deadly weapon, possession of drugs, theft and malicious destruction of property, according to police. The investigation continues.
Here is a broad timeline of the case, according to police accounts:
- Some time the night of June 28 or the morning of June 29, Garland broke into the unmarked police car on Sapling Ridge Drive in Brookeville, about 12 miles north of the Capital Beltway.
- Detectives probing that case began comparing it with a vehicle break-in from a week earlier along nearby Crossmeadow Lane. Stolen in that case was a debit card, iPod and an adaptor. The suspect used the debit card at several places, an ingenious move that was captured on surveillance video. Detectives identified their suspect as Garland.
- On July 5, police arrested him on the drugged-driving charges. He provided a home address in Brookville, where police found a glove they termed "identical" to one missing from the officer's car. And they found two guns (not from the officer's car), one of which had its serial number "obliterated," police said. Detectives recovered the M-4 on Aug. 3, but declined to say where or how they did so.
Garland has an extensive arrest record, according to online court records. On Aug. 10, he pleaded guilty to resisting arrest on July 5, the same day he was stopped on the driving under the influence of drugs charge, and to firearms charges, according to the records.
He was sentenced to 18 months, according to the online records. He also has a Sept. 16 hearing scheduled for a possible probation violation, the records show.
Catherine Woolley, an attorney for Garland, said her client’s August 10 pleas resolved other matters pending against him. The charges against him for the rifle were dropped.
This item has been updated since it was first published.
-- Dan Morse
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