April 19, 2013
Detective Hassan Rasheed had been watching the Northwest Baltimore repair shop for weeks as men brought dirt bikes in and out for repairs. Now police, intent on cracking down on illegal bikes, were prepared to move in. Armed with a search-and-seizure warrant, Rasheed and a team of officers gathered up 16 bikes. Some had been reported stolen. As the officers combed the West Belvedere Avenue repair shop, a crowd gathered outside the barbed-wire-topped fence. "I'm sure everyone's [angry]
February 7, 2013
The IRS wants to show taxpayers it is taking identity theft seriously. Today, the agency announced it conducted a 32-state sweep in recent weeks that targeted 389 identity theft suspects and led to 734 enforcement actions - from complaints to indictments and arrests - in January. It had help from the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorneys' offices. The IRS posted a map of its crackdown, which includes several cases in Maryland. According to the IRS, this includes an indictment in January of two brothers who allegedly filed fake returns from April 2007 to January 2012, collecting refunds ranging from about $1,500 to $4,950.
January 29, 2013
The O'Malley administration is all for enforcing infractions on state residents - but holds itself to an entirely less stringent moral and legal standard. The push to double E-ZPass fines is a case in point. The Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) would like to increase late fees for E-ZPass infractions to $50 and potentially suspend vehicle registrations for nonpayment in legislation yet to be introduced this session. For starters, the proposed punishment far exceeds the crime.
December 7, 2012
As efforts to crack down on the abuse of prescription drugs have worked, a new problem has emerged, with addicts who can no longer get their fix by popping pills turning to the old-fashioned street drug heroin, health and law enforcement officials say. The trend shows up in local arrests, drug seizures and overdose deaths. Drug dealers are finding new markets in the suburbs, where teenagers once got their stash from local drugstores or their parents' medicine cabinets, some experts say. "The kids who got addicted to prescription pills are flipping to heroin, and, as a result, these kids are dropping like flies," said Mike Gimbel, a longtime drug counselor in Baltimore County who now works at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center.
September 14, 2012
Some members of Congress want to fire federal workers who are seriously delinquent on their taxes. Furthermore, if they had their way, prospective employees in deep tax arrears wouldn't even be considered for a job with Uncle Sam. The Republican-led House passed legislation last month that raised the consequences for federal civilian workers behind on their taxes, or anyone who wants to work for the government. Supporters say the measure is necessary to hold employees accountable, collect about $1 billion past due and foster confidence among Americans that public servants aren't ditching their tax obligations.
August 23, 2012
Enforcement of a three-year-old Annapolis law levying fines for false security alarms will begin Sept. 1 as city police start cracking down on businesses and residences. Property owners will get a pass for the first two false alarms; for the third and fourth within a year, a civil fine of $100 will be assessed. That jumps to $200 for subsequent false alarms. The clock doesn't start ticking anew until 365 days pass with no false alarm, said Annapolis Police Maj. Scott Baker. Responding to false alarms costs the city money - an estimated $60 to $65 per officer responding, and sometimes two are sent.