DOJ reports recent convictions in Kent

DOVER — A 62-year-old Felton woman will spend two years in prison for her role in the theft of federal funds from an aid program providing money for food benefits, the Delaware Department of Justice said Friday.

Joellen Edwards pled guilty to theft over $100,000 and official misconduct. Ms. Edwards was one of seven former employees of the Department of Health and Social Services responsible for issuing Electronic Benefit Transfer cards arrested and indicted earlier this year, the DOJ said.

Joellen Edwards

Joellen Edwards

An investigation revealed that the fraudulent EBT cards were delivered to State Service Centers in New Castle and Kent County, and intercepted by the suspects working at those locations. Once intercepted, the DOJ said, the cards were personally used or sold at a discount.

Deputy Attorneys General Dennis Kelleher, Matthew Frawley, and Phillip Casale secured the plea, and Edwards was sentenced by Judge Eric Davis to two years in prison, followed by one year of supervised probation. Edwards will then remain on unsupervised probation until she pays restitution of $378,880 to DHSS.

• Deputy Attorney General Kathyn Dickerson secured a guilty plea from Michael August, 56, of Smyrna to operation of a motor vehicle causing death, relating to a fatal crash in September 2015.

Michael August

Michael August

August ran a stop sign at the intersection of Kenton Road and Central Church Road north of Dover, and collided with a motorcycle driven by 62-year-old David Hemphill of Smyrna, who died as a result of the collision, the DOJ said.

August is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge William Witham Jr. in November.

• Deputy Attorney General Caroline Brittingham secured a prison sentence for Eric Amaro, 45, of Georgetown to two counts of drug dealing. In February 2015, Amaro sold heroin to an undercover officer on two occasions, just 48 days after being released from jail on a drug dealing offense, the DOJ said.

Judge Henley Graves declared Amaro a habitual offender on one of the two counts, and sentenced him to a total of eight years in prison, including completion of the Greentree program, followed by the completion of the Crest program in a residential substance abuse treatment center, followed by 18 months of Crest aftercare.

• Deputy Attorney General Gregory Babowal secured a guilty plea from Robert Crawley, 29, of Greenwood. During the summer of 2015, Crawley broke into several homes in Milford, Harrington, and Ellendale, stealing numerous items including a shotgun, laptop computer, televisions, and jewelry, the DOJ said.

Robert Crawley

Robert Crawley

Crawley pled guilty to three counts of second-degree burglary, one count of disregarding a police officer signal, and one count of second-degree conspiracy.

Judge William L. Witham Jr. sentenced Crawley to a total of 7 years in prison followed by probation.

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