A collaborative effort by law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrest of 259 fugitives in Baltimore that Gov. Larry Hogan called “the city’s most violent criminals.”
Elected and law enforcement officials on Wednesday touted the success of a crackdown that includes federal, state and local agencies in an effort to reduce crime in Maryland’s largest city.
“The goal of this aggressive, joint, federal, state, and local surge operation was to apprehend as many violent criminals as possible from the streets of Baltimore city,” Hogan said.
Hogan made the announcement during a news conference on Wednesday at the Edward A. Garmatz U.S. District Courthouse. He was joined by Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, U.S. Marshal Johnny L. Hughes, Baltimore Police Commissioner-designate Darryl De Susa and The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Baltimore Field Division Special Agent in Charge Danny Board.
According to Hogan, in the past 60 days 10 people charged with murder, 10 individuals charged with attempted murder and 21 people facing gun and weapons charges were arrested as part of the crackdown. The operation also cleared 25 percent of the city’s sex offender warrants.
The joint operations involve collaboration between agencies including U.S. Marshalls, The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Maryland State Police, Maryland Transportation Authority Police and the Baltimore Police Department.
News about the success of the crackdown comes at a critical time for the Baltimore Police Department, which is trying to regain public confidence after a series of controversies amid a surge in violent crime.
Earlier this month, two detectives from the department’s Gun Trace Task Force were convicted of charges including racketeering and robbery. Those convictions follow the unsolved fatal shooting of Det. Sean Suiter, who was killed a day before he was scheduled to testify in front a grand jury investigating task force corruption.
Corruption convictions and Suiter’s death follow a handful of tumultuous years for the department that started with the death of Freddie Gray from injuries suffered in police custody and the subsequent riots. Crime surged in the following years with homicides surpassing 300 annually.
During that time the department has cycled through three commissioners including De Susa, who was scheduled for a Baltimore City Council confirmation hearing Wednesday evening.
“As the mayor of Baltimore city, I can tell you we are very appreciative of this particular initiative and as (De Sousa) will say it’s on steroids. But I believe our police department is on steroids too because we are staying focused on reducing and continuing to reduce violence in our city,” Pugh said.