Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement Partners Announce the Launch of Frederick Exile
Goals are to Show Increase in Number of Prosecutions and Lengthy Prison Terms for
Repeat Violent Offenders
Frederick, Maryland - Leaders of the local, state and federal agency partners have joined together to launch Frederick Exile and held their first meeting today to discuss the goals of the program and plans for the future, announced United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein and Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith.
“Frederick County law enforcement officials initiated this program in response to their concerns about increasing gang activity in Frederick County,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “The Frederick Exile program represents a coordinated commitment by local, state and federal officials to fight violent crime by targeting repeat offenders for prosecution and working to persuade young people not to join violent gangs or commit gun crimes.”
“One of my goals as State’s Attorney for Frederick County is to make this a safer community for all citizens. Removing violent offenders through Frederick Exile will help us achieve that goal,” said Smith.
“I’m excited about this joint effort. Together, we are more effective at taking gun-carrying thugs off our streets. Hard time for gun crime is not just a slogan but a reality. By emphasizing federal, state and local cooperation we are letting violent offenders know that carrying or using guns has serious consequences. We will continue to work hard with our federal partners to ensure longer, stronger and stiffer sentences for gun toting criminals,” said Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith.
“I have been a longtime and staunch proponent of project EXILE and we are very excited to be part of this partnership between federal, state, and local agencies. This effort comports perfectly with our community policing efforts, which include marshaling resources at every level, said Frederick Police Chief Kim C. Dine. “ Having seen the type of gun violence I have for my 34 years in policing, 27 of those in Washington, DC., I strongly believe that Frederick Exile will have a positive impact the quality of life in Frederick and on prosecutions of Frederick criminals arrested with guns. I am very thankful for the partnership and assistance from the United States Attorney Rod Rosenstein, Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith, and the ATF Special Agent in Charge, Theresa Stoop.”
“Today marks an important step in our commitment to ensure public safety,” says Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop. “With Frederick Exile, we can collectively focus our expertise to take the most violent offenders off the streets, as we continue our relentless pursuit to impact violent crime.”
Frederick Exile is a unified and comprehensive strategy to combat gun crime that combines law enforcement efforts, community action, 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.
Under Frederick Exile, the United States Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will be working with other federal agencies to support the mission of our local prosecutors and police by investigating and prosecuting as many significant firearms cases as possible and by using the prospect of federal prosecution to encourage defendants to take prompt guilty pleas to firearms charges in state court.
Under EXILE, in appropriate cases, once the U.S. Attorney’s Office has determined that a case is ready to be indicted, the U.S. Attorney’s Office sends a letter to the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office advising that the case will proceed federally if the defendant has not pled guilty in state court to the mandatory five-year penalty under state law by a specified deadline. The letter – known as a “Federal Letter of Intent to Prosecute,” or “FLIP” letter – is then shared with the defendant and defense counsel. If the defendant does not plead guilty by the deadline, the defendant is promptly transferred to federal court to face federal prosecution.
One FLIP letter has already been sent and that defendant accepted a plea to the state charge. Several other cases are currently under review for inclusion in the program. This ongoing cooperation and partnership is a key element of Frederick Exile.
Violent Repeat Offenders
Under Frederick Exile’s Violent Repeat Offender (VRO) initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, State’s Attorney’s Office, Parole/Probation, local law enforcement, ATF, FBI, and other agencies have teamed up to target offenders/organizations identified by local authorities as some of the area’s most violent. 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 criminal histories. The partners will 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 monitoring the status of the pending case or investigation of each such individual.
Defendants who are convicted federally for firearms possession or firearms-related offenses in Frederick County may be sent to federal prison facilities outside of Maryland to serve their sentences, including federal prisons in Colorado, Oklahoma and Florida.
Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office plan to provide legal instruction to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Frederick Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies.
A key component of Frederick Exile is a media/public relations campaign to send a message to criminals and to the broader community that any felon who carries a gun in Frederick County is going to jail – that criminals will do hard time for gun crime. The campaign is designed to alert offenders to the crackdown on gun crime and to energize the community to support law enforcement efforts and, in particular, their local police. The Frederick EXILE partners hope to also include outreach to schools and faith-based organizations and call-ins directed to identified felons recently released from prison.
Frederick Exile is a joint effort by the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office, the City of Frederick Police Department under Chief Kim Dine, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, the Thurmont Police Department under Chief Greg Eyler, the Maryland State Police, the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation, ATF, FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.