Once more, scandal has rocked the Maryland Department of Corrections. On October 5, Federal prosecutors indicted 80 individuals including 18 #correctional officers of participating in a conspiracy to smuggle drugs, cellphones, and other contraband into the Eastern Correctional prison.
#Eastern Correctional Institution, Maryland’s largest state prison, has almost 3400 inmates. With the 18 correctional officers, the federal government has also charged 35 inmates and 27 outside individuals (“facilitators”) with allegedly participating in the scheme to smuggle illegal drugs, cellphones, etc., into the prison.
Authorities alleged that the defendants were part of a conspiracy to smuggle narcotics, tobacco, and pornography into the prison. Federal prosecutors alleged that the 18 correctional officers accepted bribes from prisoners and outside participants including sex with inmates. Prosecutors stated that inmates usually paid $500 for a package with cash or with PayPal by using illegal cellphones.
Officials alleged that the correctional officers and prison civilian employees smuggled the illegal items by concealing the contraband on or in body cavities. It was also alleged that officers sometimes personally brought the contraband to the prisoner’s cells.
The prosecutors also alleged that the guards would warn inmates of planned searches of their cells and would disclose which inmates were providing information about other inmates to prison officials. With this disclosure, the “snitching” inmates could be punished by the inmates participating in the smuggling scheme.
The Maryland prison system is not new to corruption. In 2013, An investigation had revealed certain female guards had smuggled cell phones, drugs, and provided sex to members of the Black Guerrilla Family, Maryland’s largest gang,in return for money and expensive gifts (i.e. cars). The leader of the gang impregnated four female correctional officers. In 2015, 24 correctional officers ( and 20 jail employees, inmates and other individuals) charged in the federal indictments, pleaded guilty.
It was always our position that the massive smuggling of contraband into our prisons could not be achieved without the involvement of some correctional officers and civilian employees. Unfortunately in Maryland, some Foxes were guarding the henhouse!
By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com