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Date: Feb 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 29, 2016 

MDTA POLICE INTERCEPT MORE THAN 20,000 PACKS
OF UNTAXED CIGARETTES ON I-95 IN BALTIMORE

State Comptroller Determined More Than $41,000 In Lost Tax Revenue

 

BALTIMORE, MD - The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police have arrested a North Carolina man who had more than 20,000 packs of untaxed cigarettes with a retail value exceeding $133,000 in his car.

"I'd like to thank the Maryland Transportation Authority Police for this arrest. They continue to be a great partner in Maryland's ongoing efforts to combat illegal cigarette smuggling," said Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot. "This type of large-scale cigarette smuggling hurts law-abiding retailers, makes it easier for kids and teenagers to get cigarettes, and deprives the State of vital revenues."

On Saturday, an MDTA Police officer stopped Ammar M. Shamakh, 32, of Pikeville, N.C., on northbound I-95 prior to Exit 64 (I-695). Shamakh, who was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Suburban, was exceeding the posted speed limit. After a brief roadside interview, the officers located the cigarettes throughout the vehicle's interior.

"Another amazing job by an MDTA Police Officer in our continuing efforts to work with allied law enforcement agencies," said MDTA Police Chief Colonel Jerry Jones.

Shamakh was traveling from North Carolina to New Jersey and was taken into custody without incident. The total tax loss for the State of Maryland was $41,340.

The MDTA Police contacted the Comptroller of Maryland - Field Enforcement Division regarding the seizure, and an agent charged Shamakh with transporting cigarettes within Maryland without the tobacco tax being paid and unlawfully possessing more than 30 cartons of unstamped cigarettes. In addition, the MDTA Police charged Shamakh with exceeding the maximum posted speed limit (72 mph in a 55 mph zone).

After processing, Shamakh appeared before a District Court Commissioner where a $75,000 bail was set.

The Maryland Transportation Authority Police, a nationally accredited force, is the seventh-largest law-enforcement agency in the State, with more than 600 sworn and civilian law-enforcement professionals. MDTA Police officers provide law enforcement at the MDTA's highways, bridges and tunnels; at BWI Marshall Airport; and at the Port of Baltimore.

NOTE: If you choose to use an acronym, please refer to Maryland Transportation Authority as MDTA Police. Thank you.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 22, 2016
 
MDTA POLICE ARREST MAN STEALING MDTA LIGHT POLE

Man also in possession of illegal drugs

BALTIMORE, MD - On Saturday, Feb. 20, a Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police officer arrested a man who was in the process of dismantling an aluminum light pole owned by the MDTA. The man also was in possession of prescription drugs belonging to another person.
 
"We thank Officer Sanders for his due diligence in apprehending a theft suspect stealing State property and taking illegal drugs off of our streets," said MDTA Police Chief Colonel Jerry Jones.
 
At about 12:45 p.m., MDTA Police responded to the report of a theft in the area of eastbound Moravia Road at the I-895 southbound entrance. Upon their arrival, they were met by a member of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) Northern District. The BPD officer advised that he observed the suspect cutting the light pole into smaller sections using an electric reciprocating saw powered by a generator.
 
Malachi Williams, Jr. 66, of Baltimore was apprehended without incident and indicated he was going to scrap the aluminum from the light pole for money.
 
A search revealed Williams, Jr. was in possession of prescription bottle that had the label partially removed. The bottle contained 113 50 mg Tramadol tablets, an opioid pain medicine.
 
MDTA Police Officer Sanders charged Williams, Jr. with theft from $1,000 - under $10,000, malicious destruction of property, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and unlawfully removing a label on a prescription bottle. Williams was transported to the Central Booking Intake Facility for disposition.
The Maryland Transportation Authority Police, a nationally accredited force, is the seventh-largest law-enforcement agency in the State, with more than 600 sworn and civilian law-enforcement professionals. MDTA Police officers provide law enforcement at the MDTA's highways, bridges and tunnels; at BWI Marshall Airport; and at the Port of Baltimore.
NOTE: If you choose to use an acronym, please refer to Maryland Transportation Authority as MDTA Police. Thank you.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 18, 2016

 

MDTA POLICE RECOVER STOLEN CAR AFTER ARRESTING DRUNK DRIVER

Driver Nearly Three Times Over Legal Limit; Also Wanted On Warrants

 

BALTIMORE, MD - Yesterday, a Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police officer arrested a drunk and suspended driver who was operating a 2004 Acura model TSX that was stolen on Feb.16 in Anne Arundel County. Police stopped the driver for excessive speed (73 mph in a 55 mph zone) and drifting across multiple traffic lanes, nearly causing a collision on the I-695 Inner Loop near the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Anne Arundel County.

"Fortunately, MDTA Police Officer B. Amereihn apprehended this driver before any motorists were injured or killed," said MDTA Police Chief Colonel Jerry Jones.

"This is just one example of how we're helping to make highways safer for Maryland's families."

After making contact with the operator, police administered standardized field sobriety tests and determined that Anthony Sean Burks, 30, of Baltimore, was operating the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. A computer background check revealed that Burks' privilege to drive was both revoked and suspended, and the Acura was stolen. Further review revealed that he also was wanted on two outstanding warrants for failure to appear and probation violation.

MDTA Police Officer Amereihn charged Burks criminally with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, theft from $1,000 - under $10,000, unlawful removal of property and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Burks' 11 traffic charges included DUI, negligent driving, driving while revoked, driving while suspended and exceeding the posted speed limit, among others. He currently is being held at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on $50,000 bail.

The Maryland Transportation Authority Police, a nationally accredited force, is the seventh-largestlaw- enforcement agency in the State, with more than 600 sworn and civilian law-enforcementprofessionals. MDTA Police officers provide law enforcement at the MDTA's highways, bridges and tunnels; at BWI Marshall Airport; and at the Port of Baltimore.
NOTE: If you choose to use an acronym, please refer to Maryland Transportation Authority asMDTA Police. Thank you.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 12, 2016
 
MDTA POLICE RECOVER STOLEN AUTO VALUED AT $25,000
-Recovery stemmed from License Plate Reader Alert-
 
BALTIMORE, MD – Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police yesterday recovered a 2015 Ford Flex SUV that was reported stolen on Jan. 5 from the AVIS/Budget Rental Car facility at Raleigh Durham Airport in North Carolina.  
 
“I applaud this use of technology to assist law enforcement in recovering stolen vehicles and apprehending criminals,” said MDTA Police Chief Colonel Jerry Jones.  
 
Police recovered the Ford on I-95 in Baltimore, just north of the Fort McHenry Tunnel Toll Plaza. Justin Raynard Hurst of Cary, NC, was operating the vehicle and was arrested without incident. Shalesia Denise Hurst, a passenger in the vehicle, also was arrested without incident. Officer Rodriguez Jr. charged both individuals with Theft from $10,000 – under $100,000, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and unlawful removal of property. Both individuals were transported to the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Facility for an appearance before a District Court Commissioner.
 
The Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention funded the installation of the license plate reader system at the Fort McHenry Tunnel under sub-award number BRYN-2009-1047. All points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position of any State or Federal agency.
The Maryland Transportation Authority Police, a nationally accredited force, is the seventh-largest law-enforcement agency in the State, with more than 600 sworn and civilian law-enforcement professionals. MDTA Police officers provide law enforcement at the MDTA’s highways, bridges and tunnels; at BWI Marshall Airport; and at the Port of Baltimore.
NOTE: If you choose to use an acronym, please refer to Maryland Transportation Authority as MDTA Police. Thank you.
                                                                       ###