At a press conference held Wednesday morning in Leonardtown, Governor Larry Hogan joined St. Mary’s County’s Sheriff Tim Cameron, Attorney Richard Fritz, and Sheriff Captain Eric Sweeney, as well as Maryland State Police Colonel William Palozzi to praise their efforts through a long-term investigation to bring charges against suspected drug dealers whose actions have led to overdose deaths.
McClatchy DC Bureau reports on Hogan’s remarks on what the success in St. Mary’s could mean for other counties running investigations across the state and for turning the tide on the crisis:
Hogan, speaking a news conference in Leonardtown, said he hopes the long-term investigation would serve as a model to prosecutors statewide for fighting a deadly epidemic that resulted in more than 2,000 overdose deaths last year in Maryland.
“Everyone is entitled to due process, and everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but I believe that this is the level of tough prosecution that we need in order to turn the tide in this deadly fight,” Hogan said. “Investing in prevention and treatment can only work if we eliminate the threat posed by drug traffickers all across the state of Maryland.”
The Bay Net provides more information on the charges that were filed against the eight individuals:
Fritz announced the indictments of eight individuals on second-degree murder charges related to drug sales and the deaths of drug users.
Each of the suspected drug dealers is now facing charges of second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and additional distribution and possession charges.
For more information:
Maryland governor applauds murder charges in overdose cases (McClatchy DC Bureau)