FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
OCTOBER 24, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Baltimore EXILE Partners Announce That More Defendants Were Charged in the
First 9 Months of 2007 Than in All of 2006
Program Continues to Successfully Target Violent Repeat Offenders
Baltimore, Maryland - Leaders of the local, state and federal agency partners that are together implementing the Baltimore EXILE strategy held a quarterly meeting today to discuss the progress of the program, the United States Attorney’s Office announced.
To date in 2007, 154 defendants have been charged under the EXILE program, which is more than the 151 defendants charged in all of 2006. Many of the cases involved local gun arrests that resulted in lengthy prison sentences The second year of the Baltimore EXILE program also has been marked by proactive efforts to take some of Baltimore’s most violent repeat offenders off the streets.
Violent Repeat Offenders
Under Baltimore EXILE’s Violent Repeat Offender (VRO) initiative, a team composed of representatives of the Division of Parole and Probation of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the United States Probation Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the High Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), ATF, BPD, the SAO, and the USAO meet regularly to identify some of the most violent individuals in the city – individuals who belong to violent gangs or organizations operating in Baltimore and individuals who have been charged with, or have been suspects in, shootings and murders. Some of these individuals have pending state gun, drug, or violent crime cases. Many are in violation of their parole or probation. Others have no pending charges but have lengthy and disturbing criminal histories. The members of the Violent Repeat Offender team determine the most effective strategy for arresting and detaining each individual – including violations of parole or probation, aggressive prosecution of pending state or federal charges, or proactive investigations – and monitor the status of the pending case or investigation of each such individual.
Forty-seven VROs have been identified and pursued since the program began in early 2006. Of those, 31 have been detained or are facing pending charges, as follows:
• three have been detained pursuant to revocations of parole or probation;
• six have been detained following convictions in state court;
• 20 have been detained based on newly filed federal charges; and
• two have pending felony drug charges in state court.
As an example of what is being accomplished through the Exile Violent Repeat Offender initiative, the partners cited the case of Carlos Woods, age 23, of Baltimore, who was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court to 262 months in prison, followed by six years of supervised release, and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 25, 2007, in Baltimore City Circuit Court for a violation of probation, related to the federal conviction.
Woods, who was targeted as part of the EXILE Violent Repeat Offender initiative, was convicted by a federal jury on August 3, 2007, of possession with intent to distribute just two grams of cocaine and eight grams of marijuana, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. enhanced Woods’s sentence upon finding that he is a career offender based on four previous convictions for felony drug offenses.
“Under Maryland EXILE’s Violent Repeat Offender initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office meets regularly with federal, state and local agencies to identify some of the most violent individuals in Baltimore – including Carlos Woods. Together with our law enforcement partners, we are committed to keeping violent offenders off the streets of Baltimore for a long time,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to trial testimony, on February 9, 2007, Woods sold cocaine and marijuana near the 1800 and 1900 blocks of North Collington Avenue and the 2100 block of East North Avenue. Officers arrested Woods after observing him conduct several narcotics transactions, and seized his drug stash consisting of cocaine and marijuana from a nearby alley.
Prior to February 2007, Woods was found guilty at least four times for possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances. Woods was also charged previously with murder/attempted murder, assault, handgun violations, and escape.
ATF Special Agent in Charge Gregory K. Gant stated, “A violent offender who has four prior drug convictions does not belong on the streets of Baltimore. We are proud to be a part of Project EXILE, a program that banishes these dangerous criminals from our communities, and introduces them to the world of federal jail time.”
Other VROs are the subjects of ongoing investigations.
In addition, the Baltimore EXILE program continued an extensive outreach and media campaign including bus billboards, radio public service announcements, and posters advertising lengthy federal sentences received by particular defendants.
At today’s meeting, Baltimore EXILE Achievement Awards were presented to 33 federal agents and Baltimore City police officers and four local and federal prosecutors whose outstanding work resulted in significant firearms or violent crime cases. Awards were also presented to two Baltimore County police officers and two members of the Baltimore City Fire Department, and special awards were presented to four other ATF employees for their overall contributions to the EXILE program. A list of those receiving awards is in the attached statistical document.
“I appreciate the steady leadership and dedication that our local, state and federal law enforcement officers have contributed to our re-energized EXILE initiative and I am confident that our joint efforts will gain momentum from the strength of our partnership,” said State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy.
Baltimore EXILE is a unified and comprehensive strategy to combat gun crime that combines law enforcement efforts, community action and revitalization, and public awareness. The strategy is based on a partnership among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, with the assistance of community activists, educators, and civic and faith-based organizations.
Baltimore EXILE is a joint effort by the SAO, BPD, the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, the United States Marshals Service, ATF, DEA, HIDTA, FBI, ICE, and the USAO.