Federal law enforcement officials here have outlined plans for implementing their part of President Reagan's national drug crackdown proposal announced last week, saying they expect to see the first newly recruited prosecutors and investigators for the job in early 1983.
Acknowledging that details are still few, Maryland U.S. Attorney J. Frederick Motz told a press conference Friday he would expect roughly 20 additional prosecutors and 100 FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration agents for the Maryland-D.C.-Virginia-Delaware-Eastern Pennsylvania area -- one of 12 regions in the country under the Reagan proposal.
"I think this is something that is going to take off," said Motz.
"We're not talking about just taking drugs off the street," said Dana Caro, special agent in charge of the Baltimore FBI office. "We're talking about getting the leadership."
Motz said he envisioned the program not so much as a separate campaign against drugs and organized crime, but as a supplement to current efforts against crime by prosecutors and agents throughout the country.
He said he would expect the effort to focus not only on traditional forms of drug traffic and organized crime but also on newer phenomena, such as illicit activity by motorcycle gangs and what he called "prison gangs" -- networks of convicts and ex-convicts smuggling drugs into prisons.
Reagan announced his nationwide proposal Thursday, calling for a special task force of at least 1,200 new prosecutors, agents and support personnel to help crack down on drug traffic and organized crime.
The White House estimated the program would cost an initial $160 million to $200 million. Administration officials said they will ask Congress to amend the 1983 budget in November, not by increasing it but by transferring already approved sums from nonenforcement agencies to the new program.
On Friday, Motz, Caro and other federal officials here participated in a closed circuit "teleconference" briefing at the Maryland Center for Public Broadasting along with other officials across the country and Attorney General William French Smith, FBI Director Willian H. Webster and others in Washington.
Motz, who would be the coordinating U.S. attorney for the region and its six other U.S. attorneys, and Caro said their leaders gave no idea which monies would be transferred for the drug task force, and offered few other details.
Motz said he does not believe the White House announcement of the drug crackdown proposal was politically motivated to help Republicans in the Nov. 2 election two weeks from now.
"I don't think anyone can question the commitment of this administration to fighting crime," Motz said.