Two men were sentenced on federal drug charges earlier this year for a drug distribution operation that crisscrossed the nation. The 136 kilograms of cocaine, with a street value of $13.6 million, was hidden in a load of strawberries and discovered after a routine traffic stop. In addition to the drugs, law enforcement personnel confiscated almost $300,000 in cash from one of the defendants. Several other men have pleaded guilty but have not yet been sentenced. According to official documents, the federal government also plans to keep more money confiscated in the case, including almost $3 million seized in cash from several homes and apartments. Cash was also taken from some involved individuals and from a U.S. Post Office location. In addition, almost $300,000 was confiscated from five separate bank accounts at four different banks. The government also confiscated seven homes owned by one of the co-defendants along with at least 12 cars. In addition, it confiscated numerous luxury jewelry items such as Gucci and Rolex watches.
The Maryland State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recently met to discuss reasons for why there happens to be a disproportionate number of blacks incarcerated in Maryland prisons. The numbers of prisoners in Maryland has nearly tripled during the past thirty years, and one in nine young black men between the ages of 20 and 34 are now in jail.
When it comes to matters of sex crimes, rape charges or domestic violence, we in Montgomery County need to know that we should never rush to judgment and assume an individual is guilty until all the facts are in. A recent story that has made national news forcefully makes this point.
The assumption is often made that individuals on probation are not really facing any criminal penalties for the acts that they've allegedly committed. Yet individuals on probation generally face or have served imprisonment, are subject to various fines and are sometimes required to pay restitution to victims of crimes.
In the recent police reports listed in Maryland County, there were two arrests concerning drug possession or drug charges. The two individuals arrested were 18 and 19-years old. Neither arrest involved violent conduct of any kind.