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Yearbook salesman bilked schools of $400,000

The Baltimore Sun

A Crownsville yearbook salesman pleaded guilty yesterday to bilking several high schools and colleges, including the Naval Academy, out of more than $400,000.

Joseph M. Wenzl, 40, admitted to a scheme in which he negotiated highly discounted prices with the publisher, charged the schools the full retail price and pocketed the difference, according to U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

He pleaded guilty to federal mail-fraud charges in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore yesterday and will be sentenced Jan. 4. He could receive a maximum of five years in prison.

Wenzl was the regional sales representative for the Texas-based Taylor Publishing Co. and carried out his scheme between October 1998 and January 2003. In addition to the Naval Academy, the schools involved included Howard University, George Washington University and two Washington-area high schools.

Baltimore County

: Rosedale

Man gardening in yard finds body

A man tending his garden discovered a body last night in the Rosedale area of Baltimore County, police said.

Police received a 911 call about 5:30 p.m. yesterday and recovered the badly decomposed body in a wooded area in the 1100 block of Batavia Farm Road, Cpl. Michael Hill, a police spokesman, said.

The body was discovered when a man, who is manager of the nearby El-Rich motel on U.S. 40, was tending his garden plot behind the hotel and smelled a foul odor coming from the woods, Hill said.

Police could not tell whether the body was that of a man or woman, but Hill said it appears to be an adult.

The case is being classified as a suspicious death, Hill said. The body has been sent to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore for autopsy.

The discovery of the body comes less than 24 hours after the remains of Patrick Carroll Pearce III, 41, were found nearby.

Last night, Cpl. Patrick Wilhelm estimated that the bodies were within a mile of each other. He said no link has been established.

Michelle Landrum

Mega Millions

Winning ticket sold at Walther Blvd. store

A winning Mega Millions ticket was sold at a liquor store in Baltimore County, a lottery official said early today. Lottery Director Buddy Roogow said a winning ticket was sold at Walther Liquors, 8625 Walther Blvd.

Last night's Mega Millions jackpot was worth an estimated $330 million.

Anne Arundel

: Odenton

Davidsonville man dies in collision

A Davidsonville man was killed when his car struck a van head-on in a four-vehicle crash, Anne Arundel County police said yesterday.

Joshua William Dale, whose 27th birthday was Thursday, was heading south about 4:50 p.m. on Route 170 in Odenton in a Volkswagen Jetta when he failed to brake for traffic that had stopped for a Volkswagen Beetle driver waiting to make a left turn, police said.

Dale struck a Mazda Protege, sending it into the back of the Beetle and sending his car across the double-yellow line into the path of an oncoming Ford minivan. He struck the Freestar van head-on, and suffered serious injuries. He was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at Baltimore-Washington Medical Center.

The van's driver, Cynthia Black, 45, of Laurel, was transported to Anne Arundel Medical Center with injuries that weren't considered life-threatening. The driver of the Protege, Chad Peterson, 36, of Severn, was taken to Baltimore-Washington Medical Center, but his two passengers were not injured.

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