Posted On: April 30, 2012

Federal Funding Drying Up for Anti-Gang Initiatives in MD

The Washington Examiner is reporting that programs aimed at eradicating street gangs in suburban Maryland, as well as Northern Virginia, are now being threatened due to a loss of federal funding. The concerted anti-gang efforts in both states have been successful in reducing gang activity since 2003; for example, the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, which targets youth who haven’t joined gangs yet and at-risk students who already have, has reduced gang activity by 34 percent. This particular gang prevention program is pricey, however, costing $30,000 a month to run.

MD Gang CrimeThe states’ anti-gang programs have been receiving funding under a congressional earmark, which, according to the Examiner, is a “funding mechanism that allows local congressmen to skirt funding competitions within federal agencies.” Now denounced as wasteful spending, smaller jurisdictions, such as Fairfax County, will now have to compete for federal funding against larger cities, such as Baltimore and Chicago.

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Posted On: April 26, 2012

Former MD College Student Accused of Threatening Shooting Spree Deemed Fit to Stand Trial

The Washington Times reports that a former University of Maryland student has been declared fit to stand trial in Prince George’s County's Mental Health Court. The 19-year-old former college student is accused of posting messages online threatening to go on a shooting rampage at the College Park campus of the University of Maryland. Three people alerted campus police about the messages after seeing them on various social media sites, and the college sophomore was arrested and hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation.

The 19-year-old was later released and is now charged with eight different crimes in relation to the March incident, including misuse of electronic mail and disruption of a school’s operations. Authorities conducted a search of the former student’s dorm room and his family’s home in Fulton, but no weapons were discovered. The suspect is presently under home detention and has been indefinitely banned from the grounds of any University of Maryland campus. Prosecutors say it could be months before the case goes to trial, if at all. A follow-up hearing is scheduled for May 15.

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Posted On: April 16, 2012

Waldorf Ice Cream Truck Driver Charged with Selling Drugs alongside Frozen Treats

Maryland Marijuana Sale ArrestA WCSH6.com report states that a Maryland man now faces drug charges after being busted for allegedly selling marijuana out of his ice cream truck. According to the Charles County Sherriff’s office, authorities received a tip through Crime Solvers on March 30 about the alleged drug sales and police stopped the truck at the intersection of Bayswater Court and Sheffield Circle the same day. With the help of a drug detection dog, marijuana was found by deputies in the vehicle, along with an undisclosed amount of cash in the ice cream truck driver’s underwear.

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Posted On: April 12, 2012

Rise in Cigarette Smuggling in MD, State Wants to Increase Penalties

A report from NACSOnline.com reveals that cigarette smuggling in the state of Maryland is on the rise and is costing the state hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost tax revenue. Maryland assesses a $2 excise tax per pack and the government is intent on trying to keep those tax dollars within the state. Presently, it is a violation of state law to enter MD with more than two packs of cigarettes purchased out of state. A spokesperson for the state comptroller states that any county that borders a low-tax state, including Prince George and Cecil counties, is potentially a target.

Maryland Smuggling ChargesThe spokesperson for the state comptroller says the practice of smuggling cigarettes continues because the penalties are “not very bad,” which can create an environment that breeds repeat offenders. If caught, smugglers currently face criminal charges of transporting and possession of untaxed cigarettes. “Transporting” of untaxed cigarettes carries a fine of $50 per carton and a possible threat of two years in prison, and “possession” is considered a Maryland misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

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Posted On: April 10, 2012

Penalties for Drunk Driving in Maryland as Explained by Andrew Alpert

Maryland DUI PunishmentsAndrew Alpert, a Maryland criminal defense attorney, understands the seriousness of a drunk driving conviction and the impact it can have on a person’s life. With more than 24,230 arrested in the state of Maryland in 2007 for drunk driving, it is a very common problem, and without experienced legal counsel, a person may face serious consequences. In Maryland it is illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.08 percent or greater. The penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, for Maryland residents 21 years of age or older are:

First Offense

A first offense for DUI can result in suspension of one’s driver’s license for 45 days or 90 days (for BAC of .15 or more) and fines of up to $1,000. If a minor was in the vehicle at the time of arrest, fines may increase to $2000. Upon conviction, one may also serve a jail term of up to one year, or two years if a minor was in the vehicle.

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Posted On: April 3, 2012

Four Children Arrested in Baltimore Following Playground Attack

WBALTV.com reports that Baltimore City Police arrested four elementary school students on March 30 following a playground fight. The police officers arrived at Morrell Park Elementary School and arrested three nine-year-olds and an eight-year-old boy, handcuffs and all, on Maryland aggravated assault charges. Reports indicate that the charges were based on a fight that occurred nine days earlier in the 2500 block of Tolley Street in Southwest Baltimore when allegedly one of the children held another child’s head underwater, while another held a boy’s head on a railroad track and threatened to kill him if he told anyone about the incident. The children were held for almost 12 hours in a juvenile detention center nicknamed “Baby Booking.”

Following the arrest of the four elementary school children, members of the Baltimore Police Department are now facing a wave of controversy for their use of handcuffs on the kids and the manner in which they were arrested as it occurred during school hours where anyone could see. Police adamantly defended their actions stating that suspects in all cases are handcuffed to keep officers safe and to prevent people in custody from harming themselves.

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