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Date: Mar 2016
NEWS RELEASE
"OPERATION SAFE DRIVE I-95"
FIRST WAVE RESULTS
 
The first wave of the 2016 "Safe DRIVE I-95" enforcement initiative for the East Coast was conducted last week and focused on seatbelt usage, speeding drivers, reckless drivers and impaired or distracted drivers on Interstate 95. The "Safe DRIVE I-95" initiative is a Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Region II program that concentrates on violations that make highway fatalities the 12th leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of death among teenagers.
 
The Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division and the Maryland Transportation Authority Police Commercial Vehicle Safety Unit joined together to conduct enforcement and commercial vehicle inspections on Maryland's portion of Interstate 95 as part of this 15-state East Coast enforcement program. The commercial vehicle component of "Operation DRIVE" incorporated a high visibility, multi-agency traffic enforcement on Interstate 95 designed to eliminate traffic fatalities by reducing traffic crashes involving large trucks, buses and passenger vehicles.
 
Combined statistics for both police departments over the three-day enforcement campaign on I-95 are:
 
  Inspections
Vehicles Placed
Out of Service
Drivers Placed
Out of Service
TOTAL 803 164 60

 

CMV Driver/Vehicles Non CMV Drivers/Vehicles
Citations - 395 Warnings - 516
Citations - 72 Warnings - 54

 

Additionally, two drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, one driver was issued a civil citation for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, and a stolen motorcycle was recovered from a tow truck and a juvenile arrested. Three separate arrests were made for wanted persons.
 
Combined police enforcement waves will continue throughout the year.
 
CONTACT: Greg Shipley-MSP-410-653-4236 1/Sgt. Jonathan Green-MDTA-410-537-7724

Nearly 400 vehicles passed through the MDTA Police’s #StPatricksDay sobriety checkpoint in Baltimore. Here are some stats from officers at the checkpoint and on patrol last night:

  • Conducted three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.
  • Made one DUI arrest, one CDS arrest and one warrant arrest.
  • Issued 19 citations and warnings.

Great job driving sober, Baltimore!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 18, 2016

 

MDTA POLICE INTERCEPT MORE THAN 8,000 PACKS
OF UNTAXED CIGARETTES ON I-95 IN BALTIMORE

State Comptroller Determined More Than $16,000

In Lost Tax Revenue

 

BALTIMORE, MD - The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police have arrested a New Jersey man who had more than 8,000 packs of untaxed cigarettes with a retail value exceeding $51,000 in his car.

On Wednesday, an MDTA Police officer stopped Ronaldo R. Gracia, 42, of Newark, N.J., on northbound I-95 in Baltimore County. Gracia, who was driving a 2007 GMC Yukon, had his vehicle's rear license plate obscured. After a brief roadside interview, the officers located the cigarettes throughout the vehicle's interior and took Gracia into custody without incident.

"I am really grateful for the continuing victories our State's transportation law-enforcement professionals are having in this ongoing battle against cigarette smugglers. We have a truly efficient cross-government partnership with these men and women that is giving smugglers fits," Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said.

The MDTA Police contacted the Comptroller of Maryland - Field Enforcement Division regarding the seizure, and an agent charged Gracia with transporting cigarettes within Maryland without the tobacco tax being paid and unlawfully possessing more than 30 cartons of unstamped cigarettes. The total tax loss for the state of Maryland is $16,040. In addition, the MDTA Police charged Gracia with failure to maintain a legible registration plate free from foreign material.

The investigation revealed Gracia was traveling from Virginia to New Jersey. After processing, Gracia appeared before a District Court Commissioner where a $75,000 bail was set.

In late February, the MDTA Police also recovered more than 20,000 packs of untaxed cigarettes with a retail value exceeding $133,000 following a traffic stop on
I-95 in Baltimore County.

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

March 17, 2016

                                                        

  POLICE TO CONDUCT SOBRIETY CHECKPOINT

AT KEY BRIDGE ON SAINT PATRICK’S DAY

Give Your Keys to a Sober Driver

BALTIMORE, MD - To educate the public and to prevent alcohol-related crashes, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police will conduct a sobriety checkpoint tonight at the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) toll plaza in Baltimore. 

During the checkpoint, the MDTA Police will distribute information about laws and penalties for driving while intoxicated or while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Motorists caught driving while impaired will be arrested and prosecuted.

According to a new study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers with an alcohol level of 0.15 percent were 12 times more likely to crash than sober drivers. The study also revealed that marijuana users were about 25 percent more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers with no evidence of marijuana use.

In 2015, the MDTA Police arrested nearly 1,100 impaired drivers and issued nearly 2,900 DUI citations.

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
March 8, 2016
 
 
MDTA POLICE INTERCEPT MORE THAN A POUND OF HEROIN ON I-95 IN BALTIMORE
 
 
BALTIMORE, MD - The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police have arrested three South Carolina men who had 625 grams of heroin with a street value of approximately $62,500 in their car.
 
"Heroin has caused devastation in all corners of our state," said Governor Larry Hogan. "My administration is committed to providing better treatment, support for prevention and stronger law-enforcement efforts to address this crisis. Preventing drugs from entering our state is just as important as helping individuals and families struggling with heroin addiction, and I commend our MDTA Police for their stellar work on the front lines of this fight."
 
On Sunday, MDTA Police Officer T. Massucci stopped Raken Kwame Gause, 26, of Longs, S.C., on southbound I-95 near Exit 50 (Caton Avenue). Gause, who was driving a 2015 Chevrolet sedan, was exceeding the maximum posted speed limit (64 mph in a 55 mph zone). After a brief roadside interview, officers located 6,250 pouches of heroin, less than 10 grams of marijuana, and prescription cough medicine in the vehicle's cabin.
 
"This is a significant arrest in Maryland's fight against the destructive heroin and opioid epidemic," said MDTA Police Chief Colonel Jerry Jones. "The MDTA Police is committed to keeping heroin out of Maryland's communities and to shutting down dealers using our interstates as transport routes to destroy communities in neighboring states."
 
Gause was traveling from New Jersey to South Carolina and was accompanied by Rashawn Deon'Tra Gore, 25, of Little River, S.C., and Jamison Damar Ward, 23, of Aynor, S.C. Police took all three into custody without incident. None of the men took responsibility for the heroin. A digital scale and drug packaging materials also were located in the vehicle.
 
The MDTA Police charged the three men with: drug possession - heroin with intent to distribute, drug possession - heroin, importation of at least four grams of opium, and altering a prescription drug label, among other charges. Ward also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, and Gause was charged with exceeding the maximum posted speed limit. After processing, officers transported all three to the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Facility for an appearance before a District Court Commissioner, where Gause was held on $500,000 bail, and Gore and Ward on $400,000 bail.
 
In late February, the MDTA Police also intercepted 18 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $45,000 following a traffic stop on I-95 in Baltimore.
 
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.
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