Nothing is more important than the safety of Maryland residents. The Office of the Attorney General focuses its resources strategically to build safer streets and communities. From effective joint prosecutions of dangerous criminals to strengthening Maryland's heroin trafficking efforts by expanding the range of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Heroin Task Force, The Attorney General has worked for greater public safety in all of Maryland's communities. In a first-of-its-kind effort, he has linked local prosecutors across the state through an initiative that leverages resources in the Office of the Attorney General to tackle complex multi-jurisdictional and multi-defendant cases in organized crime, crimes of exploitation, environmental degradation and fraud and corruption.
The Organized Crime Unit handles complex investigations and prosecutions of criminal gang activities, firearms and narcotics trafficking, and violent felonies. Since its inception in the summer of 2015, the Unit has charged nearly 200 defendants for crimes relating to violence, gang participation, drug trafficking, overdoses cases, witness intimidation, obstruction of justice, prison corruption, human trafficking, commercial and serial robberies, carjackings, firearms offenses, pill mills and more.
Significant Cases: The Unit brought 15 indictments against members of a drug ring with ties to the gang known as the Black Guerilla Family. The Unit also indicted 26 members of multiple drug rings operating in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The Unit, in partnership with the DEA and local law enforcement, convicted a large scale heroin and cocaine dealer who is now serving a 25-year prison sentence. In partnership with the ATF, the Unit indicted members of a burglary ring conspiring to commit burglaries to steal firearms, including assault rifles. Working with the Maryland State Police's Gun Unit, the Unit has indicted numerous individuals who attempted to possess firearms despite having disqualifying convictions. The Unit, in partnership with the FBI and Baltimore Police, indicted the leader and numerous codefendants of an armed and violent drug trafficking ring operating in Baltimore City.
The Environmental Crimes Unit (ECU) is responsible for the coordination, investigation and prosecution of criminal environmental violations and other associated criminal charges throughout Maryland. In Fiscal Year 2018, ECU has investigated and /or prosecuted cases involving the stockpiling and dumping of scrap tires; the spilling and discharging of gasoline; the falsification of required lead paint certificates; the intentional discharge of sewage into the waterways; the illegal harvesting oysters in restricted areas; the intentional dumping of significant amounts of solid waste and construction debris; and, the illegal dumping/abandonment of hazardous wastes.
Significant Cases: In FY '18 alone, ECU has prosecuted the operator of an unpermitted scrap tire collection facility for stockpiling over 300,000 scrap tires. ECU has also prosecuted a lead paint inspector for renting out an illegal and dangerous property and filing false lead paint certificates. The Unit also investigated and prosecuted a driver for a fuel transport company for causing a large spill and over 100 gallons of gasoline to be discharged into a waterway.
The Criminal Division's Fraud and Corruption Unit is responsible for investigating and prosecuting a broad range of criminal offenses, including tax fraud, procurement fraud, insurance fraud, securities crimes, and state employee misconduct.
Significant Cases: Prior to 2017, the Unit charged a multi-defendant tax preparer case and a multi-defendant procurement fraud case and joined forces with the Office of the Comptroller to charge nine additional cases. In 2017 the Unit partnered with the Office of the State Prosecutor and local State's Attorneys Offices to investigate and charge five women in connection with a rampant organized retail theft ring. In 2018 the Unit secured a conviction for a felony theft scheme against a Maryland Criminal Justice Information System Fingerprint Specialist. And in 2019 the Insurance Fraud Division within the Unit secured a conviction against an unlicensed bail bondsman who had accepted payments from the families of incarcerated individuals but never posted the promised bail.
The Independent Investigations Division was established after passage of a package of police reform bills during the 2021 General Assembly session.
In March 2021, the Maryland General Assembly passed SB600 - Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021, creating the Division within the Office of the Attorney General. The Division is charged with investigating all police-involved incidents that result in the death of a civilian or injuries that are likely to result in the death of a civilian, and to provide a report containing detailed investigative findings to the State's Attorney of the County that has jurisdiction.
The Office of the Attorney General is committed to using its full resources to support the efforts of police and prosecutors throughout the state in the fight against crime. In collaboration with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, the Criminal Division is responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases in four important areas: fraud and corruption, organized crime, crimes of exploitation, and environmental enforcement. In addition, the Criminal Appeals Division handles all appeals of convictions.
From educating youth, parents and teachers of the
potential hazards of the Internet and social media, to preventing teen
smoking, to encouraging evidence-based best practices to assist at-risk youth, and reducing juvenile crime, our office is committed
to protecting and safeguarding Maryland's children. Find out more information
and other resources on how our office is Safeguarding Children.
The Attorney General's Crimes of Exploitation Task Force seeks to protect against criminals who target vulnerable populations, with investigations involving financial schemes that prey on the elderly; to physical and sexual abuse in nursing homes and by health care professionals; to crimes exploiting low-income workers.
Attorneys within the Office of the Attorney General have jurisdiction to prosecute human trafficking cases, including exploitation for sex and labor. In 2019, the Maryland General Assembly passed three new laws that support prosecution of human trafficking cases and increase protections and support for victims. The Child Sex Trafficking Screening and Services Act helps facilitate services for children and young adults at high-risk or who are victims of trafficking. The Anti-Exploitation Act makes labor trafficking an illegal act in Maryland, providing penalties up to 25 years in prison for violating the law. The Sex Trafficking Recodification Bill made important changes to already-existing human trafficking laws in Maryland.
If you or someone you know is the victim, or at high risk for becoming a victim, of human trafficking, please visit our Human Trafficking Resources page, for a list of government agencies, legal services, health care entities, and non-profit organizations that may be able to help. The 24-hour National Human Trafficking Hotline telephone number is 1-888-373-7888.
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
410-576-6300 / En español 410-230-1712 / 1-888-743-0023 toll-free / TTY: Dial 7-1-1 or 800-735-2258