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The Blotter: State Department worker indicted for spying for Cuba, prison worker pleads guilty, man charged with stabbing teen

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Local,DC,Maryland,Crime,Scott McCabe,Naomi Jagoda,Montgomery County,The Blotter

State Dept. worker indicted for spying for Cuba

A former State Department employee has been indicted on charges that she conspired to commit espionage for Cuba, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Marta Rita Velazquez worked for the U.S. State Department's international development arm, USAID, from 1989 until 2002, when she left the country and never returned, the Justice Department said.

Prosecutors said she recruited U.S. citizens to serve as Cuban spies, including Defense Intelligence Agency analyst Ana Belen Montes, formerly of D.C., and now serving 25 years in a Texas prison.

A grand jury returned an indictment against Velazquez in February 2004, but it remained sealed until it was opened Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Velazquez is living in Sweden, prosecutors said. If convicted of the charges against her, Velazquez faces up to life in prison.

Prison worker pleads guilty

A Federal Bureau of Prisons employee has pleaded guilty to receiving unlawful payments.

Susan A. Pratt, 47, of Crofton, who was responsible for paying relocation costs for BOP employees who are assigned to other duty stations, unlawfully accepted money and gift cards from two moving companies, according to court documents. She faces up to a year in prison.

Man charged with stabbing teen

A 20-year-old man has been charged with attempted first-degree murder for stabbing another man in a Wheaton apartment building last week, police said.

Devante Ryan McNeil, of Riverdale, is also charged with first-degree assault and reckless endangerment, according to court records.

On April 16 at about 10 p.m., officers went to the area of Georgia Avenue and Reedie Drive and found an 18-year-old man who had been stabbed about 16 times.

The victim was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, but he has since been released and is recovering at his home, Montgomery County police said.

- Scott McCabe and Naomi Jagoda

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