BALTIMORE – An Anne Arundel County, Md. man was arrested Wednesday morning at a New York airport after a warrant was issued charging him with the murder of a Frederick County, Md. man, whose body was found in the trunk of his car last December by a special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Michael A. Stahlnecker, 51, of the 1700-block of Fallsway Drive, Crofton, Md., is charged in the District Court of Maryland for Anne Arundel County with first and second degree murder, first and second degree assault, reckless endangerment, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, violent crime.
Stahlnecker was arrested shortly before 6:00 a.m. Feb. 12 by HSI New York and Frederick special agents, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the U.S. Marshals Service, as he prepared to board a flight at the JFK International Airport. Investigators from the Maryland State Police (MSP) Homicide Unit, the State Apprehension Team and the Frederick County Narcotics Task Force were with federal agents and Port Authority Police when the arrest was made. Stahlnecker is currently held on a fugitive warrant in New York pending extradition proceedings to return him to Maryland.
The victim is identified as John P. Ryan, 37, of Frederick, Md., whose body was found in his 2007 Lexus in a parking lot in the 15000-block of Somerville Drive, Derwood, Md., on the afternoon of Dec. 3, 2012. Police had been searching for Ryan since his wife reported him missing to the Frederick Police Department on Nov. 29, 2012.
Since the MSP Homicide Unit became involved with this investigation, investigators have worked closely with the Frederick County Narcotics Task Force. HSI special agents along with task force investigators had initiated an investigation in the summer of 2012 into allegations that Ryan and associates were involved in the importation and distribution of marijuana. Stahlnecker was identified as a close associate of Ryan's in this operation.
MSP homicide investigators believe Ryan had a meeting scheduled with Stahlnecker on the morning of Nov. 28, 2012, at a warehouse leased by the suspect in the 3300-block of Laurel Fort Meade Road, Laurel, Md. A search warrant served at the address resulted in the recovery of Ryan's blood near the rear loading dock and on the bristles of a broom outside the rear of the business.
Investigators believe evidence indicates Ryan was shot at the warehouse location and then driven in his car to the address in Montgomery County where his body was found in the trunk. A motive has not been confirmed at this time, however, investigators determined Stahlnecker owed large amounts of money to several persons.
The investigation is continuing and the case is being prosecuted by the Anne Arundel State Attorney's Office.