Field Enforcement Division

The Comptroller's Office is responsible for enforcing the state's revenue laws relating to alcoholic beverages, tobacco, motor fuels, business licenses and the sales and use tax for individuals and businesses. 

Enforcement Agents combat the illegal smuggling of untaxed cigarettes by conducting investigations, arresting violators and making sure retail businesses are licensed properly and complying with record keeping regulations.

Field Inspectors also monitor the transportation and storage of motor fuel, and verify that retail locations are complying with regulations governing pricing, labeling and registration. Fuel samples are also collected and tested at the division's Petroleum Testing Laboratory in Jessup to ensure quality standards. Any sub-standard product is removed from the marketplace until the problem is corrected.

Jeffrey A. Kelly, Director
410-260-7388

Enforcement Tip Line

If you have any information regarding illegal cigarette sales, or businesses operating without a business license or transient vendors selling merchandise on the roadside without a license, e-mail the Field Enforcement Division at fed@marylandtaxes.gov or call us at 410-260-7388.

Alcohol Tip Line

If you have any information regarding industry violations or trade practice violations, e-mail Lou Berman at lberman@marylandtaxes.gov or call him at 410-260-7392.

General Information 410-260-7388

FAX:  410-974-5564

Jeffrey A. Kelly Director 410-260-7104 jakelly@marylandtaxes.gov
Jennifer Brezler Office Administrator 410-260-7391 jbrezler@marylandtaxes.gov
Karyle Fogan Assistant to the Director 410-260-7649 kfogan@marylandtaxes.gov
Vacant Deputy Director
Chuck Ulm Assistant Director 410-260-7272 culm@marylandtaxes.gov
Cole Dowden Tax Consultant 410-260-7494 cdowden@marylandtaxes.gov
Ketan Vithlani - Manager Motor Fuel Testing Laboratory 410-799-7999 kvithlani@marylandtaxes.gov
Van Howeth
- Agent in Charge
Adminstrative Services Section 410-260-7469 choweth@marylandtaxes.gov
Mark Baton Property Control Manager 410-260-6005 mbaton@marylandtaxes.gov
Andrew Waters Investigator/Auditor 410-260-6245 awaters@marylandtaxes.gov
Joe Hatcher
- Division Admin.
Admin. & Spec. Projects Unit 410-260-7133 jhatcher@marylandtaxes.gov
Vacant - Inspector Admin. & Spec. Projects Unit
Nate Essey - Section Manager Regulatory and Licensing 410-260-7498 nessey@marylandtaxes.gov
Vacant - Unit Manager Regulatory and Licensing
Lou Berman Investigator/Auditor 410-260-7392 lberman@marylandtaxes.gov
David Golinski Assistant Investigator 410-260-7839 dgolinski@marylandtaxes.gov
Bill George Agent in Charge 410-260-6013 wgeorge@marylandtaxes.gov
Bill Collier Supervisor 410-260-7490 wcollier@marylandtaxes.gov
Pierre Pyle Supervisor 410-260-7716 ppyle@marylandtaxes.gov
Mike Madison Supervisor 410-260-7389 rmadison@marylandtaxes.gov
Patrick Dunkes Inspector in Charge 410-260-6247 pdunkes@marylandtaxes.gov
Kevin Burley Supervising Inspector 410-260-7388 kburley@marylandtaxes.gov
Alan Southworth Supervising Inspector 410-260-7388 asouthworth@marylandtaxes.gov
Lisa Henneman Chief License Inspector 410-260-6241 lhenneman@marylandtaxes.gov
Aivy Tsin Deputy Chief License Inspector 410-260-6242 atsin@marylandtaxes.gov
Von Montano License Inspector 410-260-6244 vmontano@marylandtaxes.gov
Sandy Davis License Inspector 410-260-6246 sdavis@marylandtaxes.gov
Evelyn Sauter License Inspector 410-260-6243 esauter@marylandtaxes.gov

The Comptroller's Office routinely tests the quality of motor fuels sold in Maryland. If you have a question or complaint about fuel quality, call 410-260-7388.

Maryland's testing program checks fuel quality at all points along the distribution chain, and stops the sale of fuel that does not meet accepted quality standards. The comptroller maintains a petroleum testing laboratory, which is consistently recognized as a leader in its field. Samples representing about two billion gallons of gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating oil, and other fuels are tested each year. Only about 1 percent of the fuel tested is found to be substandard.

The Inspection Program is comprised of Enforcement Agents and Compliance Inspectors who work as a team in their efforts to enforce and regulate the revenue laws involving alcoholic beverages, motor fuels, tobacco products, transient vendors and vendors at flea markets and other venues. Samples of the various grades of motor fuels sold in the state are collected daily to assure their compliance with state and federal regulations, as well as to assure that applicable taxes have been paid. Any substandard product is removed from the marketplace until the problem is corrected.

The transportation and storage of motor fuels is constantly monitored to verify that regulations governing pricing, labeling and registration are being followed. Investigations are conducted to identify and locate unlicensed fuel sellers, unregistered IFTA motor carriers and users who illegally use untaxed dyed fuel in highway vehicles.

Licensed alcoholic beverage retailers are likewise inspected to confirm their compliance with related laws, including efforts to defraud customers by altering the contents of more expensive beverages with less expensive brands while selling these products at the higher price. Investigations of unlicensed sellers are conducted across the state, resulting in arrests and confiscations of illegally sold items.

The sale of tobacco products are also monitored, with inspections of licensed establishments, as well as investigations of unlicensed sellers which result in arrest and confiscation of the items sold illegally (either without a license, or involving contraband untaxed cigarettes).

In addition, as mentioned, the agents and inspectors constantly look for unlicensed Transient Vendors, such as those selling furniture along our roadsides without licenses and not collecting related taxes, as well as vendors at sporting events and at flea markets who likewise do not possess the proper licenses and do not collect or remit related taxes.


0100 - Mission Statement
0101 - Vision, Mission Statement & Values

0200 - Organization FED
0201 - Organization of the Field Enforcement Division

0300 - General Rules of Conduct and Disciplinary Process
0301 - General Rules of Conduct
0302 - Publicity and Disclosure of Information
0303 - Gifts, Political Activity
0304 - Disciplinary Process Policy
0305 - Progressive Discipline, Director Authority

0400 - Use of Force and Firearms
0401 - Use of Force
Apx A - Definitions
Apx B - Use of Force Report Form
0402 - Firearms & Ammunition

0500 - Personal Appearance & Equipment
0501 - Personal Appearance
0502 - Smoking Policy
0503 - Credentials
0504 - Use of Divisions' Equipment
0505 - Data Incident Response

0600 - Administrative Hearings
0601 - Administrative Hearings

0700 - Leave Policy and Payroll Procedures
0701 - Applying for leave/ Granting Leave/ Minimum Staffing
Apx - Types of Leave
0702 - Unauthorized Absence & Maintenance of Leave Records
0703 - Overtime Pay & Compensatory Leave
0704 - Payroll Procedures
0705 - Secondary employment
0706 - Hours of work

0800 - Employee Development and Training
0801 - On the Job Training Program
0802 - Acting Supervisor Program

0900 - Inspections
0901 - Alcohol - Routine Liquor Dealer Investigation (RLD)
0902 - Cigarette Inspections - (Routine)
0903 - Motor Fuel Inspections/Dyed Fuel
0904 - Delinquent Licenses - Business License Checks
0905 - Transient Vendors

1000 - Records
1001 - Criminal History Records Checks
1002 - Criminal Records/Records Room
1003 - Computer System Access
Apx - Forms
1004 - Field Reporting Procedures

1100 - Communications
1101 - Operating Procedures
1102 - Cellular Phones
1103 - Radio Logs

1200 - Property Management Function, Evidence, Recovered Property
1201 - Evidence/Property Room
1202 - Confiscated Currency
1203 - Confiscated Vehicles
1204 - Personal Property - Storage & Disposal
1205 - Disposition of Evidence/Seized Property
1206 - Property Management Database

1400 - Court Procedures
1401 - Postponement Procedures
1402 - Disposition of Hearing/Court Cases
1403 - Court Attendance

1500 - Division Vehicles
1501 - Division Vehicles/Driving Policy
1502 - Division Vehicle Maintenance
1503 - Vehicle Inspection
1504 - Vehicle Equipment
Apx - Required Vehicle Equipment
1505 - Division Accident
1506 - Confidential Registration

1600 - Investigative Procedures
1601 - Policy, Purpose
1602 - Responsibilities of Personnel Taking Initial Complaint
1603 - Preliminary Investigations
1604 - Eyewitnesses
1605 - Photographic Lineups
1606 - One-on-One Identifications
1607 - Reporting Requirements

1700 - Sales Tax and Use Tax Collections
1701 - History, Procedures for Sales & Use Tax License Revocations
1702 - Receipts for Collections
1703 - Special Investigations - Attorney General's Office

1800 - Division Funds
1801 - Cash Funds
1802 - Credit Cards
1803 - Grant Administration

1900 - Criminal Citations/Traffic Citations
1901 - Purpose, Limitations of Use
1902 - Policy of Discrimination
1903 - Submitting Citations
Apx - Distribution of Copies
1904 - Voided Citations

2000 - Arrests
2001 - Policy and Procedures
2002 - Precaution Measures
2003 - Prisoner Transportation

2100 - Statewide Law Enforcement Authority
2101 - Authority for Extra-Jurisdictional Enforcement
2102 - Required Notification
2103 - After-Incident Actions
2104 - Agent Eligibility and Employment Benefits

The Field Enforcement Division of the Comptroller of Maryland's Office is responsible for checking the quality of petroleum products sold in Maryland. Motor fuel inspectors cover every region of the state. They enforce provisions regulating containers and vehicles used to transport and store all motor fuels, signs advertising prices for gasoline and special fuels, and waterborne movements of motor fuels - interstate, intrastate and/or all points of the supply chain, from terminal or ship to bulk plant, to distributor, to retail service station.

At retail service stations, the inspector will look for the price posted, brand identification, pump price display, pump decals that show octane ratings, color coded fills, the four most recent delivery tickets, registration certificate and any appropriate special fuels tax exemption certificate. The inspector will draw and pay for each grade of product to be tested at the Comptroller's petroleum testing lab in Jessup, although some tests are conducted on site.

The inspector will want to see the trader's license and retail sales tax license for the business, and will inspect all cigarette inventory for proper stamps as well as reviewing all delivery invoices for cigarettes, other tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.

At bulk locations

The inspectors will check the vehicles for Department of Transportation markers, compartments, loading documents, transfer documents, name on tanks and color coding.

On The Spot Tests

On site testing includes tests for water and sediment in storage tanks, and a screening for octane.

Testing At The Lab

Once initial tests are done, samples are taken to the comptroller's petroleum testing lab. Samples are chilled before testing to preserve the integrity of the testing process. The testing lab conducts quality control tests to make sure petroleum products meet Maryland specifications. Routine tests include vapor pressure, distillation, octane ratings, water and sediment, oxygen content and percentage and type of oxygenate, if any, in gasoline.

Special fuels

Fuel oils, diesel fuels and kerosene are tested for flash point, distillation, sulphur content, API gravity, and, if applicable, viscosity, color and cetane index or cetane number.

Sample locations are randomly selected for analysis. The laboratory participates in national and regional exchange groups as part of its quality assurance program.

The inspector will leave a warning, noting the problem discovered and the time permitted to correct the problem.

The lab targets for a 24-hour turnaround. If a sample fails a test, a field inspector is immediately dispatched to issue a "stop sale" order for the fuel that does not meet specifications. The "stop sale" will be removed when the problem is corrected. Inspectors work with the distributor to discover the source and correct the problem.

We will tell you the problem with the fuel. You must contact the supplier to find out if the problem is correctable on site or if the product must be removed. You must contact the Field Enforcement Division at 410-260-7388 to discuss the proposed remedy. Once you receive authorization and the remedy is performed, contact us and we will re-sample the product promptly.

No. It's illegal to sell motor fuel that fails to meet quality standards. Penalties for not complying with the motor fuel inspection law and the stop sale order include a fine of up to $5,000 and/or one year in jail, a court ordered injunction prohibiting sale of the product and suspension of your registration.

The Comptroller's Motor Fuel Testing Lab in Jessup, Maryland began operation in 1974. The primary function of the lab is to analyze all incoming petroleum products for their quality and to make sure the fuel is in compliance with state regulations, as well as federal EPA guidelines. The laboratory is also equipped to run analysis of alcoholic beverages for proof verification using Gas Chromatography procedures. Gasoline and petroleum products are collected at the retail stations and bulk terminals throughout the state by the Comptroller's compliance inspectors also take monthly samples from bulk terminals at nearby Virginia and Pennsylvania locations, as fuels from these locations regularly enter the Maryland market.

TIPLINE: If you have information regarding fuel tampering or questionable octane levels e-mail FED at fed@marylandtaxes.gov.

The Comptroller's Enforcement Program, is staffed with Enforcement Agents who are sworn police officers. The agents work individual investigations and also joint cases with inspectors. Enforcement Agents are charged with investigating violations of state revenue laws pertaining to tobacco, trader's and transient vendors license, sales and use tax, alcoholic beverage violations and IFTA and motor fuel violations.

Investigations conducted by the agents may result in a physical arrest or the violator receiving a criminal citation. FED Agents also work closely with other state law enforcement agencies and Federal law enforcement agencies such as, ATF, FBI, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, to monitor and arrest individuals that live in the state and individuals that live outside the state who enter Maryland to commit revenue crimes.

The agents pay special attention to large organized groups that ship contraband or counterfeit cigarettes and alcohol into the State in violation of state laws. Agents fan out across the state visiting retail businesses to ensure they are properly licensed and in compliance with state record keeping laws. Enforcement agents are constantly on the lookout for Transient Vendors that set up business on the side of the road or in parking lots. Since many of these vendors work without proper licenses, they are checked when they are observed, to ensure they comply with all State and County laws and requirements.

Agents routinely meet with business owners that have failed to pay the state, sales and use taxes they have collected. They meet with these individual businesses in an effort to collect monies owed the state.

By enforcing state laws and regulations that pertain to license and taxes the Enforcement Program the Comptroller's Office works hard to ensure a level playing field for all citizens and retail businesses in the state of Maryland.

TIPLINE: If you have any information regarding illegal cigarette sales, or businesses operating without a business license or transient vendors selling merchandise on the roadside without a license email the Field Enforcement Division at fed@marylandtaxes.gov or call them at 410-260-7388.

Enforcement Tip Line
If you have any information or concerns about illegal or suspicious activity involving:

  • cigarette or other tobacco product sales;
  • alcohol industry violations or trade practice abuses;
  • motor fuel, lubricants, or International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) violations;
  • businesses operating without a license; or,
  • transient vendors selling merchandise on the roadside without a license.
please email the Field Enforcement Division at fed@marylandtaxes.gov or call us at 410-260-7388.

Alcohol Tip Line If you have any information regarding industry violations or trade practice violation, email the Field Enforcement Division at fed@marylandtaxes.gov or call us at 410-260-7388.

Motor Fuel Inspection Program

The Comptroller's Office administers regulation, enforcement and business licensing functions to secure voluntary compliance, maximize state revenue and provide fair tax treatment for Maryland businesses and individuals.

The following illustrates some of the gains the Comptroller's Enforcement Agents have recently achieved in combating tax scofflaws, while safeguarding the State's revenue and helping to maintain a level playing field for law-abiding businesses.

Our Organization

Organizational Chart

Last Update: 11/07/2018