Judge tells D.C. cop to seek help for gambling problem before sentencing

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Local,DC,Crime,Naomi Jagoda,Prince Georges County

The sentencing of a D.C. police detective convicted of stealing her brother's identity has been deferred so that the officer can begin to seek help for a gambling problem.

Jamell Stallings, 46, of Brandywine, was convicted in February of counterfeiting, identity fraud and theft charges. She was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday but now has another court appearance scheduled for May 17.

According to prosecutors, Stallings and one of her brothers, Ronald Greene, had gone to a credit union to open an account, but Stallings made herself a joint owner of the account without her brother's knowledge. Stallings then used her brother's identity to take out several loans. She used the money for items such as fancy dinners, her education and to pay off her vehicle.

Stallings has been a D.C. police officer since 1989, and a police spokeswoman said Tuesday that she remains suspended without pay. As a homicide detective, Stallings was testifying against criminals during the day and "was coming home and scamming banks," prosecutor Renee Joy said in a hearing Tuesday.

Greene and his daughter did not attend the hearing, but Joy read letters from them in which they asked for Stallings to receive mental health treatment. Joy recommended a sentence of 4 years and 3 months in prison, which is at the top of the sentencing guidelines.

Stallings' lawyers then called a co-worker and two of Stallings' other siblings to speak. A sister said Stallings is a good person who has tried to help Greene. Relatives also claimed that Greene, who has suffered from a drug addiction, has been a problem.

But before Stallings was given the opportunity to speak, Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge Sherrie Krauser had a lengthy sidebar with the prosecutors and defense attorneys. Krauser then addressed Stallings and her supporters and said they were "under a misconception" if they thought the indiscretions were about Stallings trying to assist Greene or an intrafamily dispute.

Instead, Krauser told Stallings, "It's all about your gambling." The judge noted that bank records showed Stallings taking trips to Atlantic City, N.J., and Las Vegas.

Krauser encouraged Stallings' family members to rally around her and help her overcome her addiction. She said she wanted Stallings to begin her road to recovery prior to sentencing in order to ensure that she does not commit similar crimes in the future.

As Stallings exited the courtroom following the hearing, she was crying, and her supporters were consoling her.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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