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Maryland Federal Prosecutors and Investigative Agencies
When a victim, witness, or other source reports a crime to a federal agency, the agency conducts an investigation to determine if a federal crime occurred, and who committed the offense. If you are under investigation for a federal criminal charge, there are multiple Maryland federal prosecutors and investigative agencies who could be conducting the inquiry to build a case. Contact a Maryland federal crime lawyer right away to have your rights clarified and understand what options are available to you based on your circumstances.
Federal Investigations and Jurisdiction in Maryland
Both the federal government and the states have the authority to prosecute crimes. Each level of government has its own laws, prosecutors, court systems, and investigative agencies. A study conducted by Louisiana State University law professor John S. Baker found that the federal statutes contain more than 4,500 crimes. According to James Strazzella, professor of law at Temple University, this explosion of federal laws has crossed over into “traditionally state-crime areas,” which has created a significant amount of duplication within the criminal justice system. Numerous considerations go into the decision of whether a crime will be prosecuted by the state or federal government.
Generally, the crimes prosecuted by the federal government include financial crimes, large scale frauds, federal tax crimes, drug trafficking offenses, and crimes against federal officials. Federal prosecutors and the multitude of investigative agencies it works with, including the CID, FBI, DEA, U.S. Marshals, and ATF, have a vast amount of resources to investigate and prosecute federal crimes.
Attorney General and Federal Prosecutors
The Judiciary Act of 1789 authorized the creation of the Attorney General, the United States Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Supreme Court of the United States. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has the primary responsibility of enforcing the law and administering justice.
The Attorney General oversees the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), or the “Justice Department.” Working under the auspices of the DOJ, the United States Attorney’s Office, or the “federal prosecutor,” functions as the United States’ chief prosecutor for criminal cases and certain civil matters. Federal prosecutors oversee 94 judicial districts positioned across the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Federal prosecutors conduct most of the trial work for federal crimes litigated in their districts and have three statutory responsibilities based on Title 28, Section 547 of the United States Code:
- Prosecute criminal cases brought by the Federal Government.
- Prosecute and defend civil cases in which the United States is a party.
- Collect certain debts owed the federal government.
Prosecutors have the full force and vast resources of the government supporting their efforts to prosecute federal crimes and obtain convictions.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland has two geographic divisions: the Southern Division and the Northern Division. Like other federal prosecutors, Maryland federal prosecutors handle every type of case from simple matters to complex litigation. The legal might of Maryland federal prosecutors and investigative agencies makes it imperative for anyone accused of a federal crime to hire a federal criminal lawyer in Maryland for competent legal representation to defend against their charges.
IRS – Criminal Investigation Division
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the sole responsibility of investigating criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code. Individuals and corporations suspected of tax-related crimes face federal criminal charges. The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the IRS categorizes criminal tax code violations into Legal Source Tax Crimes, Illegal Source Financial Crimes, and Narcotics Related and Counterterrorism Financial Crimes.
The IRS has 2,600 special agents authorized with investigative powers for tax, money laundering, and bank secrecy laws. Its law enforcement arsenal includes the grand jury process, a variety of law enforcement investigative techniques, and maximum use of federal statutes for the prosecution of tax, money laundering, and other financial crimes.
The CID has one of the highest conviction rates in federal law enforcement. Anyone convicted of a tax crime faces possible imprisonment, fines, probation, and other punishment.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Formed in 1908, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has the primary responsibility of collecting intelligence related to domestic security and protecting the United States against terrorists. The agency has more than 35,000 employees and hundreds of field offices, satellite locations, and international offices. The staff make up includes nearly 13,600 special agents and scores of intelligence analysts, language specialists, scientists, information technology specialists, and other professionals. The FBI investigates a wide range of federal crimes, including:
- Tax evasion
- Bank robbery
- Securities fraud
- Health care fraud
- Violent crimes
Numerous federal, state, local, and international agencies benefit from the FBI’s criminal justice services.
Drug Enforcement Administration
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has the responsibility of enforcing the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States. This duty includes the enforcement of laws involving the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances, thus “targeting global drug trafficking networks and drug-related terrorism.” The DEA does not investigate small-scale activity, but provides support to local authorities involving matters of interstate drug trafficking. Some of their capabilities include:
- Investigation and preparation for the prosecution’s case at interstate and international levels;
- Management of national drug intelligence program in conjunction with federal, state, local, and foreign officials; and
- Coordination with federal, state, and local agencies as well as foreign governments of programs designed to reduce the availability of illicit/abuse-type drugs.
The DEA also works with other organizations like the United Nations and Interpol regarding international drug control initiatives. The agency operates a variety of programs designed to deter major drug trafficking organizations and their supply chains, including Cannabis Eradication, Asset Forfeiture and Aviation Support, and Drug Laboratory cleanup.
Authorized by Title 28 U.S.C. Chapter 37 Section 564, the U.S. Marshal operates within the U.S. Department of Justice and the Attorney General. As the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency, deputies provide protection for the federal judiciary. Their responsibilities include the managing of federal court facilities, capturing federal fugitives, performing criminal investigations, and executing warrants.
U.S. Marshals also relocate and arrange new identities for individuals under the United States Federal Witness Protection Program.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) consists of more than 4,700 employees. As another federal law enforcement arm under the umbrella of the United States Department of Justice, the organization has the mission of investigating and preventing federal crimes, including the following offenses:
- Manufacture and possession of firearms and explosives
- Arson and bombings
- Illegal trafficking of alcohol and drugs
The ATF’s enforcement powers also extend to the transportation of weapons, ammunition, and explosives from state to state.
Maryland Federal Crimes Lawyer
In Maryland, federal prosecutors and investigative agencies have nearly unlimited resources to conduct investigations and obtain convictions for federal offenses. If you have received a subpoena, come under investigation, or been charged with a federal crime, a competent Maryland federal crimes lawyer can help defend you against the accusations. Attorney Kush Arora has extensive experience in strategically developing defense tactics to protect individuals who have been charged with federal crimes. Call his Maryland law office today at (301) 761-4842 for a free consultation and to discuss the best possible defenses for your case.