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Olney Landlord Hires Suspect to Forcefully Evict Tenants Out of Home- Police Investigation Leads to Two Arrests and County Condemning Property

For Immediate Release: Thursday, August 21, 2014

Detectives have arrested Martin Winepol, age 71, of the 17700 block of Cashell Road in Olney, and Garfield Johnson, age 50, of the 1700 block of Wycliff Avenue in Parkville, Maryland, for their involvement in this case.

On August 6 at approximately 8:51 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 17700 block of Cashell Road in Olney for a suspicious situation. The Emergency Communications Center (9-1-1) had received two calls about a woman screaming for help and banging on the window of a neighbor’s house.

Officers responded to the residence and located the 72-year-old woman who had been screaming for help. The woman explained that she and her 50-year-old son rent a basement room in Martin Winepol’s residence on Cashell Road. Martin Winepol also lives in the residence with his wife. At approximately 8:30 p.m. that evening, the renter stated that she walked into her bedroom and observed four unknown black males (one male later was later identified as Johnson) and one black female standing in the doorway to an interior room. The suspects prevented the victim from attempting to close her bedroom door and yelled at her to take her belongings and to get out of the apartment. The female and her son were grabbed by some of the suspects and told that the landlord said they had to, “go and pack their stuff.” The suspects pushed the victims out of the residence and broke the female victim’s phone as she attempted to call 9-1-1. The suspects then took the male victim’s phone and left the premises.

Officers spoke with tenants who were home at the time of the incident. One renter stated that Winepol had told him earlier in the day that he was going to pay people to force tenants out of the home and that the renter should stay in his room. Another renter stated that Winepol told her that there would be people screaming and yelling at the home that night and that she should not come out of the residence.

Investigation by detectives revealed that Winepol paid Garfield Johnson, age 50, of the 1700 block of Wycliff Avenue in Parkville, $1,000 to scare and force the male and female victims, who were late in paying in their rent, out of the residence. Winepol and Johnson knew each other because Winepol had used Johnson’s tree-removal services in the past. Detectives applied for and received warrants for Winepol and Johnson’s arrests. Arrangements were made with Winepol’s attorney for Winepol to turn himself in to police and he did so on August 12. Winepol is charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit robbery, and conspiracy to commit second-degree assault. Johnson was arrested without incident in Parkville on August 13. He is charged with first-degree burglary, robbery, two counts of second-degree assault, and conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary and robbery.

It should be noted that during the investigation, the 4th District Community Service Officer and Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) Housing Code Enforcement Inspectors met with Winepol to inspect his single-family home. During the inspection of the home, it was determined that Mr. Winepol was running a rooming/boarding home. The residence included four, illegal accessory apartments and five separate kitchens. It was occupied by 15 people at the time of the incident. On that day, DHCA condemned the entire property. All occupants were ordered to vacate the property until the home was converted back to a single-family dwelling.

The four remaining suspects in this case, three black males and one female suspect, have not been identified. Anyone with information about the unidentified suspects involved in this case is asked to call Officer Sharif Hidayat at the 4th District: 240-773-5500. Callers may remain anonymous.

RLI



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Release ID: 14-305
Media Contact: mcpnews 
Categories: press-releases