Year of Designation: 1994
Geographic Area of Responsibility:
Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard Montgomery, Prince George's and Charles Counties
City of Alexandria, Loudoun, Prince William, Arlington and Fairfax Counties
The mission of the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA is to improve interagency collaboration, promote the sharing of accurate and timely information and intelligence, and provide specialized training and other resources to W/B HIDTA participating law enforcement and treatment/ criminal justice agencies that will enhance their ability to provide superior services and meet their operational objectives. Through its state-of-the-art Intelligence Center, its highly trained and skilled professional staff will enhance and help to coordinate drug control efforts throughout the W/B HIDTA region and, when practical, in other areas of the country with the aim of bringing about measurable reductions in drug availability, drug trafficking, drug use and the social public health, public safety and financial consequences associated with illicit drugs.
Illegal drugs remain widely available at relatively stable prices throughout the W/B HIDTA region. Drug use patterns within the HIDTA region vary considerably by geographic area.
In the Baltimore metropolitan area, heroin remains the drug of choice, although there are signs that cocaine distribution and use may be challenging heroin's traditional dominance. Baltimore-area law enforcement officials are also concerned about the growing use of illegally diverted pharmaceuticals (primarily painkillers) and have expressed concern that Baltimore may be emerging as a source area for diverted OxyContin.
In Southern Maryland, cocaine and marijuana are the primary drugs of abuse. Violence among the many drug trafficking organizations and gangs distributing drugs in this area continues to pose a serious challenge to law enforcement.
Cocaine is the predominant drug of abuse in Washington, DC but heroin distribution has expanded considerably over the past year. PCP and LSD are seen as emerging threats in this area; while overall use of these drugs is relatively small compared to cocaine, there is some evidence to indicate that distribution of PCP and LSD is expanding.
In Northern Virginia, cocaine and marijuana are considered the primary drug treats facing the area. Distribution of heroin, diverted pharmaceuticals, MDMA and “club drugs” pose smaller but growing threats. While overall use of methamphetamine remains low, Virginia law enforcement officials have expressed concern regarding the growing availability of methamphetamine in surrounding states.
In 2003, law enforcement sources identified 141 drug trafficking organizations operating in the W/B HIDTA region. A number of factors (such as growth in money laundering activity and an increasing number of DTOs that distribute two or more drugs) suggest that these organizations are becoming more sophisticated than in years past.
Gang activity (and the violence that often accompanies it) is a growing concern throughout the region. The Baltimore Police Department has identified 242 distinct gangs operating in the city; 95 percent of these gangs are involved in drug distribution. The emergence of Mara Salvatucha (MS-13) as a leading gang in the HIDTA region has generated considerable concern in law enforcement circles, especially in Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland.
Drug transportation and distribution are also region-wide concerns. Most of the drugs entering the HIDTA region are transported in privately-owned vehicles traveling on Interstate 95 and the HIDTA region's extensive highway system. Traffickers also use parcel delivery services, the US mails, and couriers traveling on public transportation systems to import substantial quantities or drugs.
The W/B HIDTA is committed to bringing together Federal, state and local agencies in an equal cooperative partnership and actively promotes intelligence sharing and coordinated drug enforcement, treatment and prevention efforts.
Its Executive Board plays a central role in shaping the HIDTA's strategy, formulating its budget, overseeing threat assessment and performance management efforts and, through its active committee system, guiding the efforts of the HIDTA's numerous initiatives. The Board has incorporated homeland security priorities into the HIDTA's ongoing efforts and is actively seeking to expand its intelligence resources.
The majority of the W/B HIDTA's law enforcement initiatives focus on investigating and dismantling drug trafficking organizations. Other initiatives attack drug trafficking through investigation of drug-related violent crime, firearms trafficking, money laundering operations and drug movement and distribution. The HIDTA's prosecution initiatives advise other law enforcement initiatives and focus on building strong cases against the leadership of drug trafficking organizations operation in the HIDTA region.
The HIDTA's Treatment/Criminal Justice initiatives focus on reducing crime by implementing a coerced treatment model for drug-addicted repeat offenders. By emphasizing the creation of a seamless treatment and supervision system, demanding accountability on the part of offenders and ensuring strict supervision and drug testing, these initiatives can dramatically reduce recidivism among addicted offenders.
Prevention initiatives funded by the W/B HIDTA focus on at-risk youth with the goals of preventing illegal drug use and promoting positive involvement with their families, schools and communities. Each prevention initiative is run by a coalition of law enforcement officials, local agencies, school system personnel and community organizations and is evaluated annually to ensure that they are meeting local needs effectively.
The efforts of all of these initiatives are supported by the HIDTA's training and administrative support initiatives. These initiatives provide training courses, financial management services, IT support, administrative oversight and logistical support to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the W/B HIDTA.
Investigative Support Center:
The HIDTA's intelligence initiatives are continuing to expand intelligence services and enhance intelligence sharing among the region's law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. At the W/B HIDTA, the ISC is comprised of two initiatives, the Intelligence Center Initiative and the Investigative Intelligence Unit. The HIDTA's overall intelligence effort is coordinated by the Intelligence Center Program Manager, who works closely with the Executive Board and the Director to ensure that the ISC's services meet current demands and continue to evolve as new threats emerge.
The Intelligence Center Initiative consists of four subunits: the Watch Center, Case Development Unit, Futures Unit and Evaluation and Crime Mapping Unit. The Watch Center serves as a central hub for law enforcement information sharing in the Washington/Baltimore region, providing case/subject deconfliction services (through the Case Explorer system), one-stop access to a wide variety of law enforcement databases, and a region-wide event deconfliction service.
The Case Development Unit assists investigative initiatives and participating agencies in identifying previously undetected drug traffickers and provides case development and support services to help investigators build larger, more significant cases. This unit's analysts also offer post-seizure analysis and document exploitation services.
To assist the region's law enforcement agencies in staying abreast of new developments in drug trafficking and substance abuse, the Futures Unit focuses on monitoring new and emerging trends and developing predictive intelligence products. In addition to producing a steady flow of intelligence bulletins and special reports on new or emerging threats, the unit's analysts also conduct longer-term research on threats of special concern in the region (such as gang activity).
Through its mapping efforts and geo-targeting studies, the Evaluation and Crime Mapping Unit helps HIDTA initiatives and participating agencies plan more effective enforcement operations and evaluate the effects of their work. In addition to its work with law enforcement agencies, the unit has also assisted numerous criminal justice and treatment agencies in developing maps to support service planning and evaluation efforts. The Evaluation and Crime Mapping Unit staff has also played an important role in the development and implementation of the HIDTA's new performance measurement process.
The Investigative Intelligence Unit concentrates on providing support for complex, long-term conspiracy cases and Title III intercepts. Its analysts make use of
the latest analytical software and intelligence techniques to assist agencies in confronting the drug treats posed by the increasingly complex and sophisticated DTOs operating in the HIDTA region. This initiative is also expanding its efforts to support initiatives and participating agencies pursuing cases in northern Virginia.
FEDERAL: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Marshals Service, United States Park Police, United States Postal Service, United States Coast Guard, United States Attorney - Eastern District of Virginia, United States Attorney - District of Columbia, United States Attorney - District of Maryland
STATE & LOCAL: Alexandria Police Department, Annapolis Police Department, Arlington County Commonwealth Attorney, Anne Arundel County Police Department, Arlington County Police Department, Baltimore City Housing Authority Police Department, Baltimore Police Department, Baltimore County Police Department, Calvert County Sheriff's Office, Charles County Sheriff's Office, District of Columbia National Guard, Fairfax County Police Department, Fauquier County Sheriff's Office, Greenbelt Police Department, Harford County Sheriff's Office. Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Police, Maryland National Capital Park Police/PG County Div., Maryland National Capital Park Police/Montgomery County Div., Maryland National Guard, Maryland Natural Resources Police Department, Maryland
Transit Administration Police Department, Maryland Transportation Authority Police Department, Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, Metropolitan Transit Authority, Metropolitan Police Department, Montgomery County Police Department, Prince George's County Police Department, Prince William County Police Department, State's Attorney's Office – Baltimore, University of Maryland Police, Vienna Police Department, Virginia State Police, Virginia National Guard
TREATMENT / CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Arlington County: Virginia Department of Mental Health; Substance Abuse and Mental Retardation; Arlington County Detention Center; Arlington County Substance Abuse Services; Virginia Department of Corrections / Alexandria City: Virginia Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Mental Retardation; Alexandria Community Service Board; Virginia Department of Corrections; Virginia Department of Probation and Parole; Center for Substance Abuse Treatment; Alexandria City Circuit Court / Baltimore City: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration; Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services- Division of Parole and Probation / Baltimore County: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration; Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Baltimore County Department of Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse; Baltimore County Bureau of Corrections / Charles County: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration; Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Charles County Health Department; Charles County Detention Center; Charles County offices of the MD Department of Parole and Probation / Washington DC: Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration; Administrative Office of the US Courts/Federal Corrections and Supervision Division; Washington, DC Superior Court; Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the U S Department of Health and Human Services; Correctional Program Office of the U S Department of Justice; Superior Court of Washington DC; US Pretrial Services / Fairfax County: Virginia Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Mental Retardation; Fairfax County Community Service Board; Virginia Department of Corrections; Community Services Board (Fairfax, VA); Virginia Department of Probation and Parole; Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the U S Department of Health and Human Services; Correctional Program Office of the U S Department of Justice; US Pretrial Services / Howard County: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration; Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Howard County Health Department; Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration: Ellicott City, Waldorf, Howard County Health Department; Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the US Department of Health and Human Services; Correctional Program, Office of the US Department of Justice; Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Circuit Court of Maryland; District Court of Maryland; US Pretrial Services / Loudoun County: Virginia Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Mental Retardation; Loudoun County Mental Health Services; Loudoun County Mental Health Center,; Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the US Department of Health and Human Services; Correctional Program Office of the US Department of Justice; Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Circuit Court of Maryland; District Court of Maryland; Superior Court of Washington D .C.; U S Pretrial Services / Montgomery County: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration; Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Montgomery County Government; Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration "Treatment for Homeless" Grant; Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (Rockville, MD); Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the US Department of Health and Human Services; Correctional Program Office of the U S Department of Justice; Circuit Court of Maryland; District Court of Maryland; Montgomery County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation / Prince George's County: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration; Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Prince George's County Government Division of Addictions (Largo, MD); Prince George's County Department of Corrections; Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Correctional Program Office of the U.S. Department of Justice; Circuit Court of Maryland; District Court of Maryland / Prince William County: Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse; Prince William County Community Services Board; Virginia Department of Corrections; Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse; Prince William County Community Services Board; Virginia Department of Corrections
Baltimore City, Maryland: Baltimore Police Department; Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods; Baltimore Community Affairs Unit; C-Safe; Strategic Neighborhood Action Plan (SNAP); Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative; Community Relations Officers in each Police District in Baltimore; Regional Auto Theft Task Force; Environmental Crimes Unit; Baltimore City Fire Department, Arson Task Force; Community Policing Youth Violence Program; The Baltimore Urban Lighting Board; The Baltimore Prostitution Task Force; Office of the State's Attorney for
Baltimore City; Code Enforcement Unit, Department of Housing & Community Development; Police Explorers; Police Athletic League (PAL) / Montgomery County, Maryland: Department of Health & Human Services; Montgomery County Police Department; Montgomery County Public Schools; Maryland National Capitol Park & Planning Commission; YMCA Silver Spring Youth Services; Equity Management; Commonwealth Foundation; United Way; Impact Silver Spring; Montgomery County Department of Recreation; Southern Management; Carroll Avenue Quebec Terrace Community Center; After School Activities Project (ASAP) / Prince William County, Virginia: Prince William County Police Department; 31st District Juvenile Court Service Unit; Prince William County Interfaith Caregivers; Osbourne High School; Manassas City Police Department; Manassas Park Police; Juvenile Court Services; FAST; Metz High School; Manassas Detention Center; Prince William County Community Services Board; Manassas City School Board; Prince William School Board; Department of Social Services; Johnson Learning Center; Prince William county Juvenile Detention Home; Manassas City Family Assessment Team; Metz Middle School; Georgetown