Governor Larry Hogan Announces Impact of Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network in 2020, Dismantling of 282 Criminal Enterprises

January 28, 2021

Governor Larry Hogan announced another successful year for law enforcement agencies focused on reducing violent crime in Maryland as part of the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network (MCIN). MCIN, a criminal justice strategy announced by Governor Hogan in 2017 and funded through the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, encourages local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to collaborate and share information to target, disrupt, and dismantle criminal gangs as well as criminal organizations involved in drug, firearm, and human trafficking operations.

“I am proud of the work of the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network to keep Marylanders safe, especially during the challenging and unprecedented events of this past year,” said Governor Hogan. “Their efforts have disrupted nearly 1,000 criminal organizations since 2018 and send a clear message that we will not accept behavior that compromises quality of life in our communities. I appreciate their selflessness and dedication to taking dangerous groups and repeat violent offenders off the street ”

In 2020, MCIN expanded to include Baltimore and Harford Counties as part of its 14 coalitions coordinating efforts to reduce crime in Maryland. Highlights include:

  • 426 criminal organizations identified
  • 282 criminal organizations disrupted or dismantled
  • 173 drug trafficking organizations disrupted or dismantled
  • 76 gangs disrupted or dismantled
  • 18 firearms trafficking organizations disrupted or dismantled
  • 15 human trafficking organizations disrupted or dismantled
  • $5.4 million in assets seized

Coalition partners also continued to send Handle with Care Maryland notifications to schools after encountering children at the scene of potentially traumatic events. Schools then connect children with important services, such as mental health, if needed.

“Collaborative efforts through the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network have disrupted or dismantled hundreds of criminal enterprises working within and outside of Maryland,” said Executive Director Glenn Fueston of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services. “The successes our law enforcement partners have had in creating a safer Maryland are possible through the hard work and collaboration of our state, local, and federal partners. Thank you for all you have done to make Maryland a safer place to live, work, and visit.”

Recent Successes

Carroll County MCIN

The Carroll County MCIN coalition focused its law enforcement efforts in 2020 on identifying and targeting groups and individuals with significant prior and current criminal history, violence, and connections to drug trafficking organizations.

On December 3,  the Carroll County Drug Task Force conducted surveillance on a motel in Westminster where police had responded to several recent drug overdoses. Investigators arrested two men during a drug deal. Detectives then executed a search warrant on one motel room where they found:

  • 4.3 grams suspected crack cocaine
  • 2.2 grams suspected heroin
  • $1,664 in cash

The suspect in this case is being held without bond pending trial, on drug possession and possession with intent to distribute charges.

On December 7, police arrested a man in Finksburg who reportedly drove a vehicle into a tree after a drug overdose and drove off. Police found the suspect asleep behind the wheel of that vehicle two hours later a short distance from the original scene, and arrested him. Police recovered:

  • 5.3 grams of suspected heroin under the driver’s seat of the vehicle
  • $1,427 in cash

The suspect in this case faces multiple drug charges including drug possession and possession with intent to distribute. He is also charged with several motor-vehicle violations. He was released on bond, pending trial.

On December 8, detectives with the Carroll County Drug Task Force received a tip that the girlfriend of a former MCIN target continued his drug operation while he was incarcerated at the Carroll County Detention Center. Detectives conducted surveillance and tracked the suspect to an industrial park in Baltimore County. Detectives performed a traffic stop when the suspect returned to Carroll County. Inside of the vehicle, they found:

  • 8.2 grams of suspected heroin concealed in the vehicle
  • $273 in cash

The suspect was arrested and released on her own recognizance, pending trial.

Cecil County MCIN

In 2020, Cecil County MCIN coalition partners launched a six-week drug trafficking investigation into a drug trafficking organization bringing cocaine for sale into Cecil County, from suppliers in New Jersey and Delaware. Investigators served nine search warrants June 13, 2020 and arrested three suspects on felony drug trafficking charges. Investigators seized:

  • 535 grams of cocaine
  • $11,292 in cash

The successful investigation was carried out by Maryland State Police, Cecil County Sheriff’s Office, Elkton Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations.

In October, 2020, Maryland State Police launched an investigation into a suspected sex trafficking operation at a spa in Elkton. Investigators used electronic and physical surveillance to investigate and identify a woman in New York as the suspected trafficker. In December 2020, Maryland State Police, Cecil County MCIN coalition partners and Homeland Security Investigations observed the suspect entering and leaving the spa in a short timeframe. Investigators performed a traffic stop on the suspect’s vehicle and found three cell phones, two of which were targeted during the surveillance operation. Police also found more than $18,000 in cash in envelopes and a ledger with dates corresponding with payments.

Police found evidence that the suspect was involved in sex trafficking on cell phones, including messages, photographs, and an app to monitor cameras inside of the spa. The suspect is charged with crimes related to sex trafficking and the business was shut down.

During a search of the spa in Elkton, police identified two victims of sex trafficking. They were interviewed by the Cecil County Human Trafficking Task Force, which offered funds for housing, as well as counseling and medical services available through the Department of Social Services and the Cecil County Health Department.

Frederick County MCIN

Two people are being held without bail after a multijurisdictional operation led to seizure of $120,000 worth of drugs in Frederick and Washington Counties. Investigators with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Frederick Police Department, Maryland State Police, Brunswick Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Franklin County Drug Task Force, and Homeland Security served seven search warrants in Frederick and Boonesboro on December 22. Investigators seized:

  • 1179 grams of cocaine
  • 120.5 grams of crack cocaine
  • 88 grams of PCP
  • 160 milligrams of Methadone
  • Four handguns

Both suspects are facing drug possession charges. More arrests are anticipated and the investigation is ongoing. The Montgomery County Police Department also provided assistance in the investigation.

On November 30, 2020, a Frederick County MCIN suspect accepted an Alford Plea in connection with a 2019 drug trafficking investigation in the City of Frederick, that led to the arrest of four other people charged with drug possession and possession with intent to distribute.

The suspect was sentenced to five years in prison for possessing a firearm illegally as a result of several search warrants. All time was suspended, except for time served – 433 days. An Alford Plea indicates that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict, but does not result in a trial. The suspect will serve two years of supervised probation upon his release.

Authorities say that three other suspects in the case are still being held without bail. One suspect belongs to a criminal gang and drug trafficking organization operating in Frederick County. He is indicted on charges related to the June 2019 murder of a witness in a drug case, attempted murder of a second person in the same incident, as well as a string of gang-related shootings in Frederick.

A fifth person pled guilty to drug possession, and was sentenced to one year in prison.

This investigation was a coordinated effort between the Frederick Police Department, Frederick HIDTA Group (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) to include the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Investigations Section, Frederick County State’s Attorney, Homeland Security Investigations, the Maryland State Police, and the Brunswick Police Department.

Prince George’s County MCIN

The Prince George’s County Police Department focused on criminal gang and drug activity in the final months of 2020.

In November 2020, this department performed a search warrant on a location believed to house a marijuana grow operation in Oxon Hill. Police arrested one suspect and seized:

  • More than 4000 grams of marijuana
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Two handguns
  • Eight loaded magazines
  • Ammunition

The suspect is facing possession with the intent to distribute and firearms charges.

In November 2020, Prince George’s County Police Department also launched an investigation into gang, firearm, and drug activity connected to a local street gang in Lewisdale. Police executed a search warrant on a home and arrested five suspects. Investigators recovered:

  • More than 350 grams of marijuana
  • More than 30 grams of crack cocaine 
  • Four firearms
  • Ammunition
  • Polymer 80 manufacturing press
  • Bulletproof vest
  • More than $6,000 in cash

The suspect in this case faces possession with the intent to distribute and firearms charges. This investigation is ongoing.

In 2020, Prince George’s County Police Department launched an investigation into a homicide. During that investigation, police identified a known gang member with ties to drug trafficking in Prince George’s County as a person of interest in the case. Police executed search warrants on a home and recovered:

  • MDMA
  • Marijuana
  • Two firearms
  • Ammunition
  • Drug Paraphernalia
  • More than $4,000 in cash

This investigation is ongoing.