A Maryland crime-fighting network that targets gang-related crime, illegal drugs and guns, and human trafficking is expanding its reach in the state.
Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday was joined by federal, state and local law enforcement leaders to announce a new Lower Shore Coalition of the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network. Additionally, Howard County has instituted a new MCIN program led by the Howard County Police Department.
Hogan said the MCIN Lower Shore Coalition will “strengthen allied law enforcement capacity on the Lower Shore, and target criminal operations throughout the Delmarva Peninsula,” while the expansion in Howard County will help disrupt gang activity, as well as illegal firearm, drug and human trafficking along the Interstate 95 and Route 1 corridors.
“I am confident that the expansion of MCIN to the Lower Eastern Shore will improve our ability to keep our communities safe,” said Worcester County State’s Attorney Kristin Heiser. “We will be better prepared to rise to whatever challenges we face moving forward together.”
Since the MCIN was established in 2017, Hogan said it has contributed to disrupting or dismantling more than 1,800 criminal organizations in Maryland, and it is already seeing record numbers for 2022.
Through July 2022, Hogan said the MCIN has disrupted or dismantled more than 400 local, multistate and international criminal organizations, reflecting a record 97% increase compared to mid-year 2021.
MCIN 2022 mid-year data also reported more than $8.2 million in cash and asset seizures, representing a record 108% increase year-to-year.
Earlier this year, Hogan said MCIN facilitated the largest drug bust ever on the Eastern Shore, including the seizure of enough heroin and fentanyl to kill more than 250,000 people.
“I can assure you that we are going to continue to use every tool at our disposal to make our neighborhoods safer, and we will not stop pursuing these criminal gangs who have been terrorizing our communities,” Hogan said.
MCIN coalitions are currently active in 16 Maryland jurisdictions, including Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Somerset, Washington, Wicomico and Worcester counties, as well as Baltimore City.
An additional $6.5 million in funding will support the program expansion to Howard County and the Lower Shore, bringing total statewide MCIN funding to $25 million.