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No Way, Jose

July 11, 2008

After more than a month on the lam, Jose J. Morales was arrested on open warrants in Dundalk and is being held without bail in the Baltimore County Detention Center, according to police.

Morales, a career thief, drug dealer, and unlicensed contractor who is facing charges in four Maryland counties, was the subject of a City Paper profile last month (“With Impunity,” Feature, June 11). He failed to show up to face trial on theft and assault charges in Baltimore City on May 28 and later skipped an Annapolis District Court hearing on second-degree assault charges, forfeiting more than $90,000 in bail bonds posted in his cases, court records indicate.

On July 10, an Anne Arundel County police “special enforcement team” received word that Morales, 32, was hiding out in a side-by-side duplex at 17 Woodland Ave. in Dundalk. They called Baltimore County police for assistance. According to the police report, officers received permission from the property’s owner to search unit 17A and, shortly after entering the house at 1:30 p.m., deduced that Morales had scrambled into the attic. Morales refused to come out when police called, instead shuffling across to 17B, lowering himself down into the neighbor’s house, and trying to escape out the back door. A detective arrested him on the back porch. “It should be noted that Defendant Morales is not a resident of 17B Woodland Ave and did not have permission” from the tenant or owner “to enter the dwelling,” the police report states.

The tenant, a 22-year-old mother of one, was not home during the incident, according to the building’s owner.

Morales was charged with third- and fourth-degree burglary and failure to obey a lawful order, according to court records. A hearing on the new charges is scheduled for Aug. 8.

Morales is due in Annapolis District Court on July 18 to face charges that he assaulted his wife in April. The Anne Arundel State’s Attorney’s Office has taken special note of Morales: “He has an active case that we have been very diligent in to make sure he goes to trial,” spokeswoman Kristen Fleckenstein says. “It’s our goal to ensure that he is present for his trial.”

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