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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Hogan announces new Lower Shore coalition

Network to target higher instances of gang-related crime as well as trafficking

(Sept. 1, 2022) Gov. Larry Hogan was joined by federal, state and local law enforcement leaders on Aug. 18 at the Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack, to announce a new Lower Shore coalition of the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network (MCIN), a coordinated criminal justice network to target higher instances of gang-related crime, in addition to drug, firearm, and human trafficking.

Established in 2017, network is reporting a record increase in the program’s role in the disruption of criminal activity statewide, including illegal cash, asset, drug and firearm seizures. Earlier this year, the network 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.

“Today, we are announcing the creation of a new Maryland Intelligence Network Lower Shore Coalition, with the addition of Worcester County, Somerset County, along with Dorchester’s existing operation, in order to strengthen allied law enforcement capacity on the lower shore, and to target criminal operations throughout the Delmarva Peninsula,” Hogan saod. “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.”

Network coalitions are active in 16 Maryland jurisdictions:  Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Somerset, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties, in addition to Baltimore City.

For FY 2023, Maryland State Police added Somerset and Worcester counties to Dorchester’s existing MCIN operation to create the lower shore coalition. Howard County has instituted a new MCIN program led by the Howard County Police Department.

An additional $6.5 million in funding will support the program expansion, bringing total statewide intelligence network funding to $25 million.

Data for 2022 show that through July 1, these coalitions disrupted or dismantled more than 400 criminal organizations, including 68 local gangs, 26 multi-state gangs, 43 international gangs, 197 local drug trafficking organizations and 39 multi-state drug trafficking organizations.

Firearms trafficking operations were brought to a halt as well, as the effort resulted in a record 97 percent increase in criminal organizations disrupted or dismantled year-to-year.

Current mid-year data also shows more than $8.2 million in cash and asset seizures

“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.”