Bmore:Feds Gun warning commercial 4 felons

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Bmore:Feds Gun warning commercial 4 felons

Postby Qdawg » January 11th, 2007, 1:29 pm

TV ad provides gun warning
Originally published January 11, 2007

The state's top federal prosecutor is paying three Baltimore television stations more than $41,000 to air a new public service announcement starting today about the potential perils faced by felons charged with federal gun crimes.

With a voice-over by Emmy award-winning actor Andre Braugher, who starred in Homicide: Life on the Street, the new ad warns criminals about the consequences of carrying a gun in Maryland.

A man sits on a couch in the ad when his cell phone rings. "Yo," he says. "A'right." Then he picks up a handgun on the table.

The ad flashes immediately to the man locked in a jail cell, appearing to rue the day he picked up the weapon.

"Guns are too hot to hold," Braugher says in his voice-over. "Maryland Exile: Gun crime equals jail time." The ad also quotes three cases where felons caught with guns received substantial prison sentences, including one life term.

The ad cost $30,000 in federal funds to produce, officials said.

"If we get the message to criminals and prevent them from carrying guns, we will save lives and we won't have to pay to prosecute them and incarcerate them," Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in an e-mail yesterday.

The ads are set to air over the next month on local television channels 2, 11 and 13.
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Postby Qdawg » January 25th, 2007, 2:19 am

City gun-crime prosecutions rose in '06
Threat of federal court said to speed cases
By Matthew Dolan
Sun reporter
Originally published January 25, 2007

In the year after Baltimore's new coordinated approach to gun prosecutions was introduced, law enforcement officials reported success yesterday.

Federal prosecutors charged almost 20 percent more people with firearms-related crimes in 2006 than in 2005. Baltimore's state's attorney also reported a slight increase in city gun prosecutions over the same period. Together, the offices said they have been able to process cases faster and win longer prison sentences for those convicted of gun-related crimes.

Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said at a news conference yesterday that the joint effort, known as Project Exile, had a common purpose. "Our goal is to reduce violent crime, not just to fill up federal prisons," he said.

But local, state and federal agency leaders conceded that achieving the goal remained difficult: In 2006, there were 275 homicide victims in Baltimore, five more than in 2005. The first 24 days of this year have produced 24 killings.

Under Project Exile, federal prosecutors threaten that if a defendant does not plead guilty in state court to the mandatory five-year prison term, the case will be transferred to federal court, where the penalties could be harsher and the prison time served farther away from home.

Preliminary police reports show that while violent crime might have decreased slightly overall last year, shootings, burglaries and robberies increased.

"We have succeeded in making positive changes," Rosenstein wrote in an e-mail after yesterday's news conference. "We have not yet succeeded in achieving less crime. But it is way too early to suggest that we have wasted our time and failed."

Rosenstein said a significant reduction in violent crime could take years to accomplish and that many factors contribute to Baltimore's violence.

Unlike other anti-violence programs introduced in the city - for example, former Mayor Martin O'Malley's unrealized pledge to drastically shrink the number of homicides in the city - Project Exile does not set a specific goal or timeline for reducing violent crime.

The program is successful, organizers said, because local and federal prosecutors have a better working relationship targeting some of the city's most violent criminals and prodding defendants to plead guilty by using the threat of federal prosecution.

Yesterday, a 43-year-old convicted felon was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for gun possession, largely because of federal guidelines that took into account his violent criminal history. Roland W. Douglas Jr. was arrested in January 2003 after a city officer heard a gunshot and saw that Douglas had shot himself with a .22-caliber pistol.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm told reporters that the previously reported rifts between local and federal law enforcement officials were a "myth."

Rosenstein, who was joined by Hamm and State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, argued that increased publicity about Project Exile means that more people will fear the possibility of a vigorous prosecution for gun-related crime.

They pointed to the success of target letters given to defendants who might face federal charges.

A total of 36 FLIPs - Federal Letter of Intent to Prosecute - were sent in 2006. Three out of every four defendants who received a letter pleaded guilty to state charges, according to federal officials.

"The FLIP letters are working," Jessamy said, adding that the program was still in its infancy.

Last year, federal prosecutors handled 115 Baltimore City firearms cases - a 62 percent increase over 2005, according to officials.

The Baltimore state's attorney's office successfully prosecuted 283 gun violence cases in 2006, 15 more than the year before, statistics show.

Skeptics have called attention to the program's lack of focus on those who buy and sell guns illegally.

Rosenstein said that he had nothing new to report on the prosecution of so-called straw purchasers or the rogue gun dealers who sell weapons to them.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/ ... -headlines
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Postby Qdawg » April 12th, 2007, 2:05 am

Shooting // A 20-year-old man was shot twice about 4:40 p.m. Tuesday in the 4000 block of Frederick Ave. and was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment of graze wounds to the face and left leg. The man refused to tell police who shot him.

Shootings // Two women were shot about 6:30 p.m. yesterday in the 2400 block of Reisterstown Road and taken to two hospitals. One woman was shot in the stomach and a hand and was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. The other was taken to Sinai Hospital.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/ ... timorecity
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