Investigators from the Maryland State Police-Central South Region and Homeland Security Investigations team conducted more than 200 criminal investigations, arrested more than 40 people, recovered almost five dozen illegal firearms and closed 94 percent of their cases in a year they say was successful because of outstanding support from citizens, prosecutors, and local and federal law enforcement agencies.
In 2015, Maryland State Police Central South Region criminal investigators and Homeland Security Investigations special agents conducted 215 investigations that resulted in 43 criminal arrests, the recovery of 59 firearms, and the service of 91 search warrants. A large majority of investigations involved either cross-border or cross-jurisdictional criminal activity.
A priority of the Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division is to focus on criminals and criminal enterprises that cross county borders or state lines. The Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (HSI) is committed to working with federal and local law enforcement partners, prosecutors and citizens to apprehend these criminals and bring them to justice. If not for the cooperation from all, the criminals arrested during 2015 may not have been brought to justice.
Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division – Central South Region includes State Police criminal investigators and Homeland Security Investigations special agents who work together to investigate major crimes while ensuring appropriate prosecution occurs at the state or federal levels. They focus their investigative efforts on Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Montgomery, Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties.
The following cases highlight the successful collaborative efforts during 2015, due in part to citizens, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies working together for the victims.
St. Mary’s County
Bank Robbery – (October 15, 2015) Investigators from MSP Criminal Enforcement Division, Central South Region assumed the investigation of a bank robbery that occurred at local bank in Charlotte Hall, St. Mary’s County, Maryland.
Direct communication between law enforcement and citizens provided vital information to developing suspects. Two suspects were identified and after a case review with St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney Richard Fritz, an arrest warrant was obtained for one suspect, charging him with: armed robbery, first degree assault, use of firearm in commission of a felony, and theft. The second suspect will be charged at a later time.
With efforts from the Maryland State Apprehension Team (MSAT), Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force (CARTF), police located and arrested the suspect at a Washington D.C. residence. Police from the Metropolitan Police Criminal Investigations Division and MSP-Criminal Enforcement Division served a search warrant at the residence where the suspect was arrested. The suspect was later extradited back to St. Mary’s County and incarcerated. In February 2016, the suspect pled guilty to robbery and is currently waiting sentencing.
Home Invasion – (August 22, 2014) During a lengthy investigation, investigators from Central South Region identified three suspects in a burglary of an occupied residence in the Hollywood area of St. Mary’s County. Investigators learned the suspects entered an occupied residence and stole a laptop and cash. When the suspects observed the homeowner, they fled with the stolen items.
Due to collaborative efforts with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Mary’s County States Attorney’s Office, all suspects were identified and appropriately charged. Each has since pled guilty.
Anne Arundel County
Felony Theft – (August 30, 2014) Investigators made an arrest of a suspect using an ATM skimmer and targeting banks at numerous locations in Maryland. The ATM skimming suspect was responsible for stealing more than $393,000 from various ATM’s in the state. Central South investigators, working with agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and local police, as well as police in Rhode Island, were able to identify the Maryland suspect.
Investigators obtained enough evidence to charge the suspect. This suspect was arrested in Florida as he was attempting to flee the country to Columbia. The suspect has been charged at the state level and federal indictments are pending.
Fraud – (February 12, 2015) Investigators from Central South Region worked in collaboration with numerous federal, state and local agencies on a multijurisdictional fraud investigation.
The investigation revealed the suspects were printing fraudulent checks using victim bank account information. They were enlisting bank tellers and other bank insiders to access sensitive personal information. The suspects also obtained loans in the names of these victims to buy luxury vehicles. In total, the conspiracy victimized over 200 individuals, small businesses, and charities, including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Children’s National Medical Center. This case has been sent to a federal grand jury for indictment. Each suspect could face up to 30 years imprisonment.
Prince George’s County
Felony Theft – (October 6, 2015) Investigators from Central South Region were contacted by employees from a business within Prince Georges County who reported several stolen electronic items with a value of $5,000 were being sold on Craigslist. It was believed the items were the property of the business.
Investigators conducted an undercover operation and met with the suspects who were selling the items. A purchase of a television was conducted. After confirming the television was stolen, a search warrant was obtained for a residence belonging to the suspect. The search warrant of the residence revealed additional televisions and laptops belonging to the business. Two suspects were charged with felony theft and theft scheme over a $1,000. In addition, one of the suspects committed a burglary/theft in another state and is facing charges in that incident.
Commercial Armed Robbery – (June 23, 2016) Troopers from the Maryland State Police Prince Frederick Barrack and deputies from the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office responded to a convenience store in Dunkirk for a report of an armed robbery. Central South Region investigators responded and assumed the investigation.
Investigators obtained several leads that led to multiple suspects from Anne Arundel County. During the investigation, investigators working with detectives from Prince George’s County Police Department were able to locate the vehicle used in the robbery. A search warrant was served at the suspect’s residence led by Central South investigators who were assisted by the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, Southern Maryland Information Center (SMIC), and Homeland Security Investigations investigators. All suspects were arrested and charged with armed robbery, 1st degree assault and theft. All suspects are incarcerated pending trial.
Statewide Enforcement – The Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division Marijuana Eradication Unit coordinates operations with federal, state, local law enforcement agencies and the Army National Guard. Last year this unit was responsible for the arrests of 64 people, the recovery of 2,745 marijuana plants, 96 pounds of bulk marijuana, the recovery of 214 weapons, the eradication of 89 marijuana grow sites, seizure of $41,092.00 and over $140,000 in vehicles seized.
Citizen interaction has proven to be a vital tool for law enforcement in bringing suspects to justice. Without the direct interaction of these citizens, coordination efforts with federal, local and state law enforcement agencies, and the cooperation with federal and local prosecutors, investigators from Central South Region would not have been able to achieve a high closure rate. Central South investigators would like to thank all that have helped in any investigation and look forward to an even better collaboration in 2016!
Anyone having information pertaining to criminal investigations, especially major drug trafficking, is urged to contact Detective Sergeant Jeffery S. Jones with the Maryland State Police-Criminal Enforcement Division, Central South Region at 410-535-1400 or “TIP” Line: 1-888-210-1450 or email at: .