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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Maryland
Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 4, 2024

Maryland U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron Recognizes the Contributions of Law Enforcement Partners and the Teamwork That Helped To Reduce Violent Crime in 2023

BALTIMORE — At a press conference earlier today, U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron, thanked federal, state and local law enforcement partners in the fight against violent crime in Maryland. The teamwork, community-based partnerships and strategic law enforcement initiatives helped make a difference in reducing homicides in Baltimore in 2023 by more than 20% percent. Partners at today’s press conference included:

U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron;
ATF Director Steven Dettelbach;
ATF Special Agent in Charge Toni Crosby;
State’s Attorney for Baltimore City Ivan Bates;
Baltimore City Police Commissioner Richard Worley; and
Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget;
Federal Bureau of Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge R. Joseph Rothrock;
Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge James Harris;
Acting U.S. Marshal Mathew Silverman
Executive Director Errol Etting of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional
Services Intelligence and Investigative Division; and
Colonel Roland L. Butler, Jr., Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

“Going forward we will continue investigating and prosecuting large RICO cases, like Triple C, but we will also continue to employ strategic and preventative law enforcement measures - especially by using any legal means necessary to remove those who illegally possess or use guns in our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron.

“This past year's almost 20% reduction in Baltimore homicides and 9% reduction in non-fatal shootings is a significant step forward in improving the quality of life for the citizens of this city. Every life saved from senseless acts of gun violence is worth celebrating. But we can't forget that every single life lost to this epidemic is a needless tragedy,” said ATF Director Steve Dettelbach. “Through strong partnerships and utilizing crime gun intelligence, ATF is able to focus law enforcement priorities not on entire communities, but instead on strategically identifying the trigger pullers who are terrorizing those communities. My message for 2024? We are not done by a long shot. ATF is committed to protecting the rights of Baltimoreans to live in peace. Law abiding folks should not live in fear of falling victim to senseless gun violence tragedies that continue to plague our most vulnerable communities.”

“Together, we have achieved significant strides in reducing violent crime throughout the year 2023, and while just one life lost to violence in Baltimore is one too many, we remain optimistic about the collective progress made. The collaborative spirit, tireless dedication and innovative approaches demonstrated by our prosecutors, investigators and law enforcement colleagues have played a pivotal role in creating safer communities for the residents of Baltimore,” said State’s Attorney Ivan J. Bates. “We have collectively contributed to decreasing violent crime rates through strategic initiatives, community engagement and diligent prosecution efforts. Our success in this endeavor is a testament to the collaborative strength of our justice system. It reflects the unity and determination that defines us as a community and highlights our shared commitment to public safety and a safer Baltimore for all.”

U.S. v. Correy Cawthorn, where Cawthorn, a member of the violent Baltimore street gang the “Cruddy Conniving Crutballs,” otherwise known as the “Triple C” gang, was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison. Cawthorn admitted that he was part of a racketeering conspiracy and participated in three murders, an attempted murder and drug trafficking on behalf of the gang. This investigation led to the guilty pleas of 34 members and associates of Triple C, including Cawthorn. It was investigated by ATF and the Baltimore Police Department as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program, using leads generated from the ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), a national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms.

“Crime gun intelligence allows ATF and our law enforcement partners to identify, investigate, and incarcerate the most violent and prolific offenders operating in Baltimore. The 35-year sentence for Triple C gang member Correy Cawthorn today and the guilty plea of Black Guerilla Family gang member Wayne Prince yesterday are just two examples of what this investigative approach can do in the hands of law enforcement like our relentless Special Agents and Task Force Officers,” said ATF Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby. “While we take this moment to acknowledge the progress of this past year, we must also remember that any murder or act of violence prevents people from having the sense of security in their own neighborhood that they deserve. ATF Baltimore Field Division is looking forward to another year of serving the citizens of Maryland, creating safer communities so they can thrive.”

“Drugs are directly related to crime through the effects they have on the user’s behavior and by generating violence and other illegal activities including firearms related incidents and homicides. Through DEA’s Operation Overdrive initiative, we have mapped the most dangerous and ruthless drug trafficking organizations that operate in the DMV and have directed our resources towards dismantling and prosecuting these organizations. Our collaborative efforts have led to the seizure of record numbers of illegal drugs to include fentanyl and firearms, as well as many impactful prosecutions and convictions. DEA’s primary focus remains combating drug related violence and fentanyl poisoning in our neighborhoods,” said Jarod Forget, Special Agent in charge of DEA Washington Division.

“Every day the FBI works closely with our law enforcement partners in Baltimore and the rest of Maryland to identify and combat violent crime and other threats facing our communities,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge R. Joseph Rothrock of the FBI'S Baltimore Field Office. “In 2024 and the years to come, we will remain laser focused on partnering together to make our communities safer places for all of us.”

“Through a combination of comprehensive strategies, partnerships, and community engagement, we have made substantial progress in curbing the frequency of gun-related violence in Baltimore,” said Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of HSI Baltimore. “We have fostered relationships among our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, as well as our prosecutors. We coordinate efforts, share intelligence, and leverage resources in a unified approach to combat illegal gun trafficking, apprehend violent offenders and hold perpetrators of gun violence accountable. Our efforts throughout our Maryland communities have resulted in a reduction of homicides in Baltimore, by 19% while non-fatal shootings are down almost 9%. While we celebrate this success, we recognize that our work is far from over. We are committed to sustaining and expanding our efforts to further reduce violent gun crime in and around Baltimore in 2024."

“This past year, the U.S. Marshals Service has helped our federal, state and local partners apprehend over 1,300 violent fugitives,” stated Mathew Silverman, Acting U.S. Marshal for the District of Maryland. “The public can rest assured that we will do everything within our lawful authority to continue to support our partners and help make the State of Maryland a safer place.”

U.S. Attorney Barron also thanked our community partners, such as ROCA Baltimore, whose mission is focused on violent crime prevention and intervention initiatives and highlighted a joint public service announcement, U.S. Attorney Office coordinated community walks, and resource fairs for returning citizens. The law enforcement officials at today’s press conference renewed their commitment to community building in order to build trust and to prevent violent crime.


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