Crime, Politics

Councilman Marks to support crime-fighting agreement with U.S. Department of Justice

NOTTINGHAM, MD – Baltimore County Councilman David Marks announced on Wednesday that he would vote to support an agreement with the federal government that gives the county a broader role in combating illegal drugs and other criminal activity.

The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program was established in 1982 to reduce the supply of illegal drugs in the United States and diminish the violence associated with the drug trade.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation operates OCDETF strike forces nationwide. The OCDETF program targets high-level transnational, national, and regional criminal organizations and networks that are engaged in the illegal production or trafficking of drugs or other controlled substances, transnational organized crime, drug-related violence, or the illegal concealment or transfer of proceeds derived from such illicit activities. The Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force was established in 2018 and includes 18 federal, state, and local law enforcement agency members to better coordinate and combine resources and efforts to reduce violent, drug-related, and gang-related crime in the Baltimore area and surrounding region.

The U.S Department of Justice is seeking to co-locate the 18 Baltimore OCDETF law enforcement agencies at the Montgomery Park Business Center in Baltimore City to maximize the effectiveness of the ongoing investigations. The Justice Department has approached Baltimore County to assume the fiduciary role for the Baltimore OCDETF Strike Force. As the fiduciary, the county will manage all financial operations of the BSF, including lease payments and operational costs. The county will then seek reimbursement for these costs from the federal government.

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A vote on the agreement will occur Monday night.

“We need more robust cooperation among all levels of government to eliminate illegal drugs and the criminal activity associated with drug trafficking,” said Councilman Marks. “Public safety is a principal concern for my constituents, and I will do all in my power to make our families and neighborhoods more secure.”

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