New FBI field chief plans to target drug operations

September 15, 1994|By Michael James and Marcia Myers | Michael James and Marcia Myers,Sun Staff Writers

A 19-year FBI veteran aiming to go after the violent drug trades in Baltimore and Prince George's County has been named to head the agency's Maryland-Delaware field office, authorities announced yesterday.

Timothy P. McNally, 47, heads the criminal division of the FBI-Washington field office, where he oversaw the Rep. Dan Rostenkowski corruption investigation and most recently the probe of the bizarre plane crash on the White House lawn.

Mr. McNally expects to begin his job in Woodlawn in mid-October. He replaces Danny O. Coulson, who has transferred to the FBI office Dallas.

"I'm interested in addressing the major crack cocaine organizations that affect the neighborhoods in Baltimore City and Prince George's County, where there is so much violent crime," Mr. McNally said last night.

"The number of homicides in Baltimore is extremely high. . . . You

combine that with Washington and Prince George's County and the Maryland territory has some pretty serious crime problems."

This year, Baltimore has recorded 207 homicides. The city had its worst years ever for murder in 1993 and 1992, with 353 and 335 murders, respectively.

In the last year, FBI agents have worked increasingly with city and federal drug agents in Baltimore. The efforts are part of an increased federal law enforcement effort aimed at drug gangs and the violence they create.

"The best thing we can do is work well with local authorities. You've got to work in a multiagency environment . . . the magnitude of the problem is overwhelming," Mr. McNally said.

Mr. McNally, who has a law degree, said he also hopes to bolster the Maryland FBI's white-collar crime unit. His Washington unit investigated Mr. Rostenkowski's alleged financial improprieties, which led to a 17-count indictment charging the lawmaker with converting $636,600 in federal funds and $56,267 in campaign funds to his personal use.

"One of my emphases will be on white-collar crime. If we find serious allegations of public corruption, we'll address them," Mr. McNally said.

Mr. McNally also recently oversaw the investigation into Monday's incident in which Frank Eugene Corder, a Maryland trucker, stole a single-engine Cessna and crashed it on the White House lawn. Mr. Corder, who had alcohol and trace amounts of cocaine in his system, died in the crash.

In recent years, Mr. McNally has served as deputy director of the National Drug Intelligence Center and also spent one year as an inspector in the Office of Inspections at FBI headquarters.

Before that, he supervised the drug squad in the bureau's Miami division, eventually becoming assistant special agent in charge. He also has worked as a field agent in San Diego and Los Angeles.

A Wisconsin native, Mr. McNally graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and received his law degree from Marquette University Law School.

He and his wife, Patricia, have three children and expect to move to Maryland soon from their current home in Northern Virginia.

Mr. Coulson, who came to Baltimore in May 1993, opted to return to Dallas so he could live in his native state, FBI officials said.

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