2018-08-08 / Front Page

Prosecutor McLeland plans to be tough on crime

Believes in taking a hard stand against drug dealers
By Debbie Lowe
Staff writer

McLeland McLeland Carroll County Prosecutor Nick McLeland, who has been in office since Jan. 1 of this year after former Prosecutor Rob Ives left the position at the end of last year, told the County Council Aug. 2 he intends to end the feeling among those who violate the law that Carroll County is the place to go to do crime. McLeland said he “wants to remove the stigma” of drug offenders saying “let’s go to Carroll County to do drug deals.” He said offenders have the notion that Carroll County is lenient on criminals and he is not lenient.

McLeland said one reason this is the thinking among drug offenders is there is no drug taskforce operating in the county right now.

“My goal is to get drugs off the streets,” the Prosecutor told the Council. “Drug busts are on the increase.”

McLeland said his office is filing more crimes in court because officers across the county are making more arrests. He said he is offering plea agreements with stiffer penalties and if the accused does not want to cooperate with his office, he is happy to go to trial. McLeland said he has trials scheduled far into next year at this point.

“I am being harder on offenders when I make plea agreement offers. I take a hard stand on the dealers and I am asking for heavy sentences when convicted,” he said.

McLeland said he also wants to prosecute some of those who owe significant amounts of child support in criminal court. He said filing criminal charges against those violators would give them “an incentive to pay the child support.” He said a criminal action against violators is “a bigger hammer” than the way the county handles the cases currently.

The Prosecutor said police officers are working very hard to bring a case to fruition, including doing the work of internal investigators, which are employed in other counties. He said they track down information and collect data, which ultimately takes away from their police duties. McLeland did not request funding for an internal investigator next year in his proposed budget.

He did request additional personnel to move from the paperreliant system to digital. McLeland said files need to be scanned for digital access, which would make his office more efficient, both internally and in handling police and public requests.

The Council will begin the 2019 budget deliberations Thursday, Aug. 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The meeting is public and community members are urged to attend.

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