Back in March the FBI and the United States Attorney announced the guilty plea of a Baltimore City Cop to numerous felony charges. The guilty plea, while not shocking to those of us familiar with big city law enforcement, landed the Baltimore Police Department in national news headlines. As a criminal defense law firm, we hear stories all the time about police misconduct and corruption. But theses stories rarely reach the public's ears because the incidents often end up being a cop's word against a criminal defendant's. But it certain cases, usually when the corrupt cops become too brash and greedy, they are caught in the act and plastered on newspapers and television. These stories offer little or no vindication for those that have been wronged by police, but it is nice to be reminded once in a while that nobody is above the law. The 36 year old city cop who plead guilty to drug conspiracy, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime back in March is no exception.
October 2013 Archives
The Blog has posted multiple articles about our state's gun laws in the past few weeks as Maryland's controversial gun laws just cannot seem to stay out of the news. This week was no different, with another headline courtesy of the United States Supreme Court. The Court recently announced that it would not hear argument on the statewide firearm carry permit law, which was upheld by U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th District this past year. The challenge to the law began when a gun owner from Baltimore had his concealed carry application denied because he could not prove to the state that he had a "good and substantial reason" for the license. This was despite the fact that the man's house had been burglarized multiple times. The gun owner filed suit in federal district court, and was joined by The Second Amendment foundation, an organization that opposes firearm restrictions. The district court judge agreed that the law was too restrictive and vague, and found it unconstitutional. But the victory was short lived for plaintiffs after the Appellate court reversed and held that the law could stand. Both parties were confident that the Supreme Court would settle the issue for good (and in their respective favor), but it wasn't to be as the Court decided the 4th Circuit would have the final say.
In the past month the Blog has posted an article about crime in the NFL, and another article about stiffer gun laws in Maryland becoming effective. Coincidently, this past week a story broke that combines these two issues; the NFL has now adopted a stiffer gun policy. As of this past Sunday, off duty police officers are no longer allowed to carry their firearms into NFL stadiums on gameday. The policy had previously allowed off duty cops to carry their weapons into the stadiums provided they used a special entrance, and notify NFL security of their seat location. The league did not provide specific reasons for instituting this new policy midway through the season, and police unions and law enforcement officers around the country have expressed widespread frustration about the change. In some cases this new rule directly contradicts police department policy and even state law.
Baltimore County Police and the State's Attorney recently reported that a Towson based lawyer has been indicted on two drug charges. The indictment, which was unsealed last week, charges the criminal defense lawyer with two controlled dangerous substance violations including possession with intent to distribute and simple possession. The type of drug at the root of these charges is the prescription painkiller Oxycodone. Oxycodone is a commonly abused narcotic that can be swallowed, snorted, or melted down to liquid form and injected. The indictment alleges that the defense attorney conspired with her 20-year old son, her legal assistant, and six other co-defendants to distribute drugs throughout the area, but county police did not release any specific details about the scale of the operation. Police did however release information hinting that more charges may be on the way.