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Maryland EXILE


Maryland EXILE is a unified and comprehensive strategy to combat gun crime that combines local, state and federal law enforcement efforts; community action and revitalization; and public awareness.

Under Maryland EXILE, any felon who carries a gun in Maryland is going to jail. Criminals who choose to commit crimes with guns will do hard time for gun crime.

By working together, we are helping empower law-abiding citizens to rid their neighborhoods of criminals who spread violence and despair and to reclaim their communities for themselves and their children.

This site provides information about the Maryland EXILE program, along with information about how you can get involved in helping to reduce gun crime in your community.

Click here for the Baltimore Exile Strategy we have entered into with our law enforcement partners.

Click here for the Prince George's County Exile Strategy we have entered into with our law enforcement partners.

We also have implemented Exile strategies in Annapolis, Cumberland, Frederick, Hagerstown, Harford and Wicomico Counties.

The six primary components of the Maryland EXILE strategy are as follows:

1. Coordinating state and federal prosecution of firearms cases

Local prosecutors and police officers are on the front lines in the fight against violent crime. The vast majority of firearms cases in Maryland will continue to be prosecuted by local State's Attorney's Offices. Consequently, one of the principal roles of the U.S. Attorney's Office is to use its resources, and the prospect of federal prosecution, to support the mission of our local prosecutors and police by prosecuting as many significant firearms cases as possible.

In both state and federal court, gun crime = jail time. We will seek pretrial detention in all EXILE cases. If a defendant is arrested with a gun while on state parole or probation, violation proceedings will be started and back-up time will be sought. Federal convictions for gun crimes mean no parole and longer sentences in far away places.

2. Proactive pursuit of violent gangs and violent repeat offenders

Dismantling violent gangs and organizations is one of the primary missions of Maryland EXILE. Maryland EXILE's team of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies is committed to working proactively to identify violent gangs and the most violent repeat offenders and to devise strategies for getting them off the streets as quickly and effectively as possible.

In Baltimore, the Zone Enforcement Section (formerly, the Violent Crime Impact Team), a squad of ATF agents and detectives with the Baltimore Police Department, has been engaging in a concentrated law enforcement effort in some of the city’s most violent neighborhoods. The Section uses the city’s crime statistics to identify these neighborhoods and conducts proactive law enforcement operations to target violent individuals and organizations in these areas. To date, the Section’s efforts have resulted in significant reductions in violent crime in the affected neighborhoods. The Section’s ongoing review of the city’s crime statistics will continue to guide its enforcement efforts.

3. Stopping the illegal trafficking of firearms

Maryland EXILE is committed to addressing the problem of illegal firearms possession by pursuing not just criminals who possess guns, but also those who supply them or help make them available. Under Maryland EXILE, firearms dealers who break the law will pay the price. In addition, friends, girlfriends and boyfriends, family members, or any other individuals who act as straw purchasers will face the same consequences as the felons they are helping – arrest, prosecution, and jail.

4. Providing training, support and information sharing among law enforcement agencies

Maryland EXILE’s team of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies is committed to working together through information sharing and joint training to identify felons in particular communities who are on parole or probation for violent crimes or firearms offenses, and identify violent gangs and the most violent repeat offenders.

5. Protecting citizens who assist in law enforcement investigations

The communities of Maryland must be safe for honest, law-abiding citizens. Any efforts to threaten or intimidate witnesses will not be tolerated. Maryland EXILE's team of federal, state, and local agencies is committed to protecting witnesses and prosecuting those who would attempt to harm them. We will use the full force of the federal and state criminal laws to pursue vigorously anyone who threatens, intimidates, or retaliates against any witness, and take them off the streets for as long as possible.

6. Conducting community outreach and public awareness

Taking back our neighborhoods and communities requires more than effective law enforcement. As a result, Maryland EXILE will emphasize community action and neighborhood renewal projects. Armed criminals are not just a police problem; they are the community's problem as well. Only through concerted action by the entire community can we stem the rising tide of violent crime and make a lasting, long-term impact.

Maryland EXILE helps to support community revitalization projects in certain neighborhoods that have been hit most severely by violent crime. The initiative also works with local police departments to promote and expand the use of neighborhood watch programs and other types of activities designed to empower residents to take back control of their streets from drug dealers and other criminals.

Maryland EXILE's law enforcement partners include:

  • local State's Attorney’s Offices,
  • local police departments,
  • the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (formerly Maryland Parole/Probation),
  • the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP),
  • the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland (USAO),
  • the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF),
  • the High Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA),
  • the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA),
  • the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),
  • the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI – formerly ICE),
  • the United States Marshals Service (USMS),
  • the United States Park Police (USPP).

Federal convictions for gun crimes mean longer sentences in far away places with no parole.

Here are some examples:

  1. Possession of a gun or ammunition by a person who is:
    • a convicted felon;
    • a fugitive from justice; or
    • a convicted drug user or addict

    is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

  2. If you have 3 or more prior felony convictions for crimes of violence and/or drug trafficking, and you possess a gun or ammunition you face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years without parole.
  3. To sell, give, or provide any gun or ammunition to a person known to be:
  • a convicted felon;
  • a fugitive from justice;
  • a convicted drug user or addict is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment without parole.
  • Using or carrying a gun during a drug crime or crime of violence is punishable by 5 years to life imprisonment, without parole, or death if death results from the use of a gun.
  • Possessing, hiding, storing, or selling a gun and ammunition that are known to be stolen is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment without parole.
  • Possessing or discharging a gun within a school zone is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment without parole.
  • Possessing or transporting a gun with an altered or destroyed serial number is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment without parole.
  • Possessing a machine-gun is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment without parole. Possessing or making a machine-gun, sawed-off shotgun, sawed-off rifle, silencer or destructive device without a permit is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment without parole.

The following are recent examples of the prosecution of EXILE cases:





  • Report firearms crimes to local police.
    • Only by working together can we stop gun violence on our streets. Please help your local police by reporting information about individuals who are carrying guns and/or dealing drugs in your neighborhoods.
  • Cooperate with law enforcement if you witness a gun crime.
  • Spread the word: Maryland Exile means hard time for gun crime.
  • Teach your children the consequences of carrying a gun.

In order to achieve lasting change, we must communicate the goals of Maryland EXILE to our youth. Maryland EXILE partner agencies will send representatives to high schools and middle schools to promote the goals of the program and to encourage students to help end the cycle of gun crime and violence in our community. If you are interested in having a Maryland Exile representative speak to your youth or community group, please contact Steve Hess at (410) 209-4930.

Updated July 11, 2017

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