‘We are not going to lose Silver Spring,’ Montgomery County’s top prosecutor says

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy is speaking out about a rash of recent crimes in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland.

McCarthy said intensified efforts are underway to crack down on crime and drug sales downtown, including a so-called “Crime Suppression Task Force’ that was established over the past four months.

“We have already indicted 10 different cases, almost from exactly [The Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza]. The vast majority of them have to do with the distribution of drugs; possession with intent to distribute drugs” McCarthy said.

In most instances, he said the drug was marijuana.

McCarthy addressed reporters outside District Court in Rockville, following the bond hearing for Dakari Thomas, 18, of Silver Spring, who was charged with first degree murder on Tuesday in the stabbing death of 19-year-old Getro Banamina.

He said video of a transaction between the pair appears to show an attempt by Banamina to purchase marijuana before Thomas produced a knife “attacking and following the victim.”

Thomas is being held on no bond and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 7, 2022.

McCarthy added that 16 of an additional 21 adults identified for possibly committing crimes in the area do not call Montgomery County home.

Last month, Montgomery County Council President Tom Hucker said he was outraged by what he said is increasing crime in Silver Spring, including a chaotic, hourslong car rally that began on Saturday, Nov. 20.

McCarthy said the task force continues to work with the Silver Spring business community.

“I’ve been a resident of this county long enough to know we’ve revitalized Silver Spring. We are not going to lose Silver Spring to a criminal element,” said McCarthy.

Watch McCarthy’s full speech on the state’s attorney’s office’s Facebook page.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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