Welcome to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division. Our Division is responsible for criminal enforcement and industry operations in the States of Maryland and Delaware. Our dedicated work force is comprised of special agents, industry operations investigators, intelligence research specialists, forensic auditors, technical operations officers and support staff. ATF is a unique law enforcement agency that protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, and explosives, acts of arson and bombings, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products. We are strategic in our efforts to reduce violent crime and protect our public.
From neighborhood to nation
Baltimore Field Division’s top priority is to address and investigate violent crime. Special Agents combat firearms violence by focusing our investigative efforts on armed violent offenders, armed career criminals, illegal gun traffickers and violent criminal gangs. We are committed to protecting our neighborhoods and our nation from those who illegally commit the crime of arson, or use explosives in violent crime and related incidents. Baltimore’s Arson and Explosives Group brings together specialized assets and expertise in arson and explosives investigations. Our Special Agents participate in high–profile arson and explosive–related investigations that affect the quality of life of our citizens.
ATF’s Baltimore Field Division leads the law enforcement effort in Maryland EXILE. This program works to identify repeat violent offenders and career criminals who have been arrested for firearms–related offenses on the State level; specifically in Baltimore, Prince George’s, Frederick, and Wicomico counties. These cases are investigated and referred for prosecution in the Federal system where the minimum mandatory sentences are more severe, and there is no possibility of parole. Operation FED–UP (Federal Enforcement and Detention in Urban Policing) is an "exile" type project led by the Special Agents in our Wilmington Field Office. Since the inception of both programs, hundreds of violent offenders have been "exiled" from the neighborhoods of both Maryland and Delaware.
In October 2010, the Baltimore Field Division launched a new Firearms Trafficking Team, a squad strategically focused on determining the source of illegal guns. We know that the best way to address the violence in and around the city is to identify the source of illegal firearms. By implementing a new intelligence component, we can more effectively learn how illegal guns are being obtained. We have partnered with over 16 state and local law enforcement agencies in Maryland to address the gun trafficking issue, by working significant trafficking investigations. Since its inception, our Firearms Trafficking Team has taken over a thousand illegal weapons off the streets.
In 2003, in response to crime statistics and violence among the growing gang community, ATF’s Baltimore Field Division established the Regional Area Gang Enforcement (RAGE) unit. RAGE is tasked to investigate, prosecute, and dismantle violent gangs throughout Maryland and the Washington DC Metropolitan region. Since its inception, RAGE has identified and investigated hundreds of members of various gangs in the Maryland/DC Metropolitan area, to include the La Mara Salvatrucha (MS–13) gang, the Latin Kings, and those belonging to the 18th Street gang. Several defendants have been charged under the RICO statute, a law which not only holds them responsible for their own actions, but those violent actions of the entire gang as well.
ATF is responsible for regulating the firearms and explosives industries. ATF protects our communities by preventing the illegal use and trafficking of firearms and explosives, and ensuring that all firearms and explosives are stored, handled and sold in a safe manner that is in accordance with Federal law. The Baltimore Field Division’s Industry Operations Investigators (IOIs) oversee the inspection of over 2,300 Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) and over 125 Explosives Licensees/Permittees within the states of Maryland and Delaware. Our top priority is to educate and ensure compliance amongst our firearms and explosives licensees, and to provide guidance and instruction in order to meet such compliance. Through education, compliance, and the imposition of penalties, our Industry Operation Investigators work to enforce firearms and explosives laws and regulations in order to keep our communities safe.
ATF also investigates crimes involving the illegal diversion of tobacco products within the United States, as well as the trafficking of contraband/counterfeit cigarettes and counterfeit tax stamps into the United States. To combat the growing problem of cigarette trafficking, the Baltimore Field Division has launched several proactive investigations throughout Maryland and Delaware.
ATF works in conjunction with our Federal, state and local partners to investigate and arrest the most violent offenders, and bring them to justice. This alliance supports our mission of reducing violent crime and protecting our public by removing these violent offenders from our neighborhoods. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to bring safety and security to our citizens – today and every day. It is our hope, and our expectation that our combined efforts will result in safer communities throughout Maryland and Delaware, and across this great nation.
As we continue the fight in the war against violent crime, ATF remains committed to keeping the public safe by putting violent criminals behind bars – one community at a time. With you and your families in mind, I proudly lead the Baltimore Field Division in fulfilling this mission. Thank you.