HOW THE SON OF TWO-TERM PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY SHERIFF DON ANSELL HAS ESCAPED ACCOUNTABILITY FOR HIS 30-YEAR CRIME SPREE
BY KEN ROSSIGNOL
THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY
PRINCE FREDERICK, MD. – When a repeat drugged-driving offender comes to Calvert Circuit Court on February 7, 2023, following several additional DWI-drugs arrests and violations of his probation for prior arrests, he will face justice in the persons of Calvert States Attorney Bob Harvey and Circuit Court Judge Mark Chandlee.
Don Edward Ansell Jr. is the son of the late Prince Georges County Sheriff Don Edward Ansell, who served as Sheriff of Prince Georges County from 1970 to 1978. Sheriff Ansell was part of the Peter O’Malley-Steny Hoyer-Mike Miller Democrat machine in Prince George’s County until he was indicted at the direction of fellow Democrat States Attorney Arthur A. “Bud” Marshal in 1977.
When Sheriff Ansell and his chief deputy were indicted for allegedly stuffing funds from a political event in their pockets, the Democratic Party machine abandoned him in the 1978 election. As a result, one of Ansell’s deputies, James Aluisi, won the election for Sheriff. Before leaving office, in December of 1977, Sheriff Ansell fired 158 deputies as the county took over the jail, forming the Corrections Division.
The indictments issued by the Prince Georges County Grand Jury included a condemnation of the Prince Georges Sheriff’s Department which busted them open like a rotten barrel and bound them up like a dead skunk scraped up from the highway by the road crew on a hot morning.
The indictment blistered Sheriff Ansell with a scathing grand jury report asserting that the Sheriff’s department “consists mainly of obese, undereducated and untrained persons hired as deputies” and suffers from “favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism” at the highest levels. Departmental morale, the panel said, “is at a minus level.”
TIME AS SHERIFF PRODUCED MANY HEADLINES WHEN A ST. MARY’S COUNTY DEPUTY WAS REPORTED TO HAVE LEFT A DEATH THREAT FOR ANSELL TO KILL HIM WITH A HAND GRENADE AS SHOWN BY THIS REPORT IN THE ENTERPRISE BY JACK KERSHAW
The grand jury said it found “pilfering, lying, cheating, and misuse of (jail) trusties for personal gain.” The trustees were used “to paint (private) homes, do carpentry, plumbing and various other skilled labor for menial wages,” according to the report, Sheriff Ansell profited from the work.
The year 1977 included the conviction of Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel for racketeering. However, Mandel’s conviction was eventually overturned by the United States Court of Appeals, and he was restored to the office of Governor for the last three days of his term.
On October 24, 1977, the Grand Jury said Sheriff Ansell had misappropriated about $2,000 in funds set aside for a deputy of the year banquet in 1976, failing to declare the income on his Maryland income tax, and lied to the Grand Jury when questioned about it. There were reports that Ansell used the funds and other monies to pay for a boat, swimming pool, and his children’s private school tuition.
Deputy McMillin became a SWAT team instructor and gave strong remarks as keynote speaker about the ‘academic pukes that run this country’
The criminal charges weren’t the first against an elected official in Prince George’s County, as former County Commissioner Jesse Baggett was convicted on federal bribery charges in return for zoning decisions. The conviction certainly wouldn’t be the last, as the FBI has been trampling down the vintage where the grapes of graft are stored in Upper Marlboro. The Feds bagged County Executive Jack Johnson, his wife, Council Member Leslie Johnson who stuffed cash in her bra and checks in the toilet as agents came in her front door. In recent years, a smattering of Prince George’s County legislators has been sent to the crossbar hotel.
The officials of the Prince George’s Sheriff’s Department were accused of using jail trustees to perform work services such as painting houses and keeping funds from an affair billed as “Friends of Sheriff Don Ansell” that raised $4,380 and was included on his 1975 tax return. The Washington Post reported that he legally used county funds to pay most of the cost of his college education and assigned his county secretary to type his college papers.
When the charges against Sheriff Ansell came to trial, he was acquitted by the jury and completed his last year in office.
Following his term as Sheriff, Ansell, a former state trooper, finished his college degree and gained a law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1983 when he was admitted to the practice of law which he continued until retiring in 2008.
There are no reflections in the court records of the endless charges accumulated by his son during the period Don Edward Ansell practiced law to indicate that he ever filed as his attorney.
Other than one representation by an Upper Marlboro attorney and a couple by public defenders, the favorable treatment continuously given to Don Edward Ansell Jr seemed to have jumped out of the goodness of the hearts of more than a dozen judges and prosecutors each time the drug-addled miscreant appeared in court, netting very little jail time.
Over the past three years, Don Ansell Jr has been operating as a process server for various attorneys in the region and now lives in an apartment project in Lexington Park, Md.
DONALD EDWARD ANSELL JR’s arrests and convictions include multiple domestic violence complaints. Still, little seems to be available about his life besides his lengthy arrest record and his looming time in jail.
The First Crime Recorded in Don Ansell Jr’s Career was Animal Cruelty – the true mark of a sociopath.
Don Edward Ansell Jr, then 19 years of age, found himself in District Court for Prince Georges County on April Fool’s Day 1965, charged with animal cruelty, battery, resisting arrest, and possession of an open container of alcohol, and was released on his own recognizance following the charges placed by the Prince Georges County Police Officer ID #692. A bail review was held the following day.
The charges were placed the year following his father’s admission to the Maryland Bar as an attorney practicing in Upper Marlboro, where he had spent eight years from 1970 to 1978 as Sheriff of Prince George’s County. Don Ansell then practiced law for nearly 25 years before retiring to South Carolina, where he died in 2020.
Prince Georges County Police Officer Bobby Sizemore charged Don Ansell Jr on June 21, 1985, with general burglary in Prince Georges District Court in Upper Marlboro. Prince George’s District Court Judge William Missouri dismissed the case on September 26, 1985.
Don Ansell Jr. was charged by Prince Georges County Police officer badge #1266 with robbery and maiming with the intent, both felonies, in P G District Court with both charges sent to Circuit Court for an offense that took place on February 7, 1986. He was released on $10,000 bail posted by Nicholas Pantazes, a prominent bail bondsman in Upper Marlboro.
Don Edward Ansell Jr, 20 (DOB 4/4/1965), was charged with felony daytime burglary in Prince George’s County Circuit Court on October 22, 1985, by Prince George’s Officer Dillon. On December 2, 1985, Judge Sylvania Wood dismissed the charge. Michael L. Gallavan represented Ansell in this case and, until 1981, was an assistant state’s attorney under States Attorney Bud Marshall before entering private practice in Upper Marlboro.
Maryland court records of the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County reveal that Don Edward Ansell Jr filed for a jury trial on March 6, 2002, when he was arrested on eighteen counts of traffic charges that covered just about everything that a wild maniac on the highway could accomplish in one day.
Included in the charges were driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, aggressive driving, running red lights, speeding, fleeing from police officers, and all-around failure to do good. On August 26, 2002, several charges were dropped in a plea deal by Prince Georges County States Attorney Jack Johnson, and a goodly number were merged into one charge of DWI. Ansell was given a verdict of Probation Before Judgement by Prince George’s Circuit Court Judge Vincent J. Femia.
A domestic violence complaint by Jennifer L. Small, one of several, triggered a hearing that brought Don Edward Ansell Jr., who was then living on Boyds Turn Road in Owings, to Calvert County Family Court on March 3, 2008. According to court records, Circuit Judge Stephen L Clagett ordered a final protective order against him on March 10, 2008.
Calvert County Sheriff’s Department Deputy C. Dawson arrested Don Ansell Jr on April 8, 2008, and charged him with two counts of driving under the influence. With Maryland District Court Judge Robert Riddle presiding on June 30, 2008, a plea deal approved by Calvert States Attorney Laura L. Martin was entered.
According to court documents filed in Charles County District Court, Charles County Sheriff Detective Juan Morales charged Don Edward Ansell Jr with four counts of making arson threats and assault, and warrants were issued for his arrest on July 6, 2009. Ansell was arrested and jailed on November 4, 2009, and released on bond the following day. District Court Judge W. Louis Hennessy presided on April 9, 2010, when Charles County States Attorney Tony Covington dropped two of the arson and assault charges, and a plea deal was reached on the other two.
Don E. Ansell Jr, 45, of Huntingtown, was arrested for DWI in Calvert County on 06/16/10 @ 06:09 am by TPR. K. Logsdon when Ansell was operating a 1997 Buick southbound on Rt. 4 at Plum Point Road. Calvert County States Attorney Laura L. Martin agreed to a plea deal for Ansell in return for his plea of guilty on October 21, 2010. THE DEAL: Ansel paid zero fine and was sentenced to only 24 days in the Calvert County Jail that ensued on the day of the plea deal. District Court Judge Robert B. Riddle approved the deal.
Calvert County Sheriff Deputy J. Denton charged Don Edward Ansell Jr with driving while impaired by dangerous substances on April 14, 2011, in Calvert District Court.
Calvert County Sheriff’s Department Deputy L. Wood arrested Don Ansell Jr for DWI-Drugs as he operated a 2000 Saturn southbound on Md. Rt. 4 at Bowie Shop Road on December 19, 2012. With attorney Victoria Kunkoski representing him in Calvert Circuit Court on June 10, 2013, Ansell entered a guilty plea.
With an Alford Plea posted in Calvert County Circuit Court on May 7, 2013, before Circuit Court Judge Gregory E. Wells, Don Ansel Jr. received a guilty verdict and a sentence of sixty days in jail without any time suspended. Ansel was ordered to report to jail on June 10, 2013, with two days of credit for time served when he was arrested.
Calvert Sheriff’s Department Deputy William C. Soper charged Don Edward Ansell Jr with driving while suspended for the second offense on May 1, 2013. District Court Judge Robert B. Riddle found Ansell guilty on July 19, 2013, and fined him $135 and court costs.
Another Round of DWI-Drugs Arrests Pending Due to Calvert Judges and Prosecutors Continuing to Set Don Ansell Jr Free to Kill Citizens of Calvert County
Don E. Ansell Jr. entered a guilty plea to DUI drugs arrest by Trooper Moorman on June 5, 2020, in Calvert County and was sentenced to one year in jail with all but sixty days suspended and unsupervised probation for three years. On January 10, 2022, a Violation of the terms of probation was noted in court records. On February 10, 2022, the VOP was dismissed. On June 13, 2022, a new request was filed in court for a violation of the terms of probation. A hearing by Calvert Circuit Court Judge Andrew Rappaport for VOP on August 31, 2022, was postponed until October 27, 2022, and postponed again until February 7, 2023, when Circuit Court Judge Mark Chandlee is scheduled to preside over the delayed justice.
The probation violation was due to several new driving under the influence of dangerous drugs that Ansell collected during 2022.