Anti-Gang Legislation Signed Into Law

(Harford County, Md) — On May 10, 2005, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich signed into law, SB 488, new gang legislation endorsed by Sheriff R. Thomas Golding in conjunction with Senator Nancy Jacobs and Harford County States Attorney Joseph Cassilly.

The legislation comes after the brutal December 8, 2004 slaying of Derald Guess, 37, an Edgewood cab driver, killed by a suspect aspiring to be a gang member. Senator Nancy Jacobs District 34 introduced the bills and both law enforcement officials and Michele Guess, the wife of Mr. Guess, provided supporting testimony. The law prohibits intimidating or coercing someone to join or prevent them from leaving a gang and further allows police to provide information to their local school officials, which identifies a person as a gang member. The law also allows information related to a suspect’s gang activity to be included in their pre-sentence investigation to the Judge prior to being sentenced.

“We are not unlike the rest of the country when it comes to gangs”, said Sheriff Golding. “We know they are here but we are working hard to stifle their growth. This legislation is an important enforcement tool for our detectives to use in arresting gang members and curtailing their activities,” the Sheriff said.

The new law becomes effective October 1st.

Press Release

June 08, 2005