Federal authorities have obtained indictments against 80 people, including corrections officers and inmates, in an alleged conspiracy to sneak heroin, cocaine, cellphones, pornography, and other contraband into the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover, Md., the Baltimore Sun reports. The largest federal indictment in Maryland history is the latest to allege that officers and inmates used sex, drugs and violence to run a criminal enterprise out of a state prison facility. It mirrors the 2013 case in which the Black Guerrilla Family gang used similar methods of bribery and intimidation to seize control of the Baltimore City Detention Center.
Federal prosecutors are charging charge 18 corrections officers, 35 inmates, and 27 others in a scheme in which the officers allegedly took bribes to sneak contraband into the state’s largest prison. As in the 2013 case, some officers are accused of having sex with inmates. Others are accused of trying to identify “snitches” who were reporting the misconduct to prison administrators, and directing other inmates to retaliate against them. Twice in July, prosecutors said, officers directed inmates to stab other inmates, once in retaliation for the targeted inmate filing a complaint against the officer. “One of the most significant aspects of this indictment is that it illustrates what happens inside a prison when this sort of systemic corruption flourishes,” said Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein. “Pervasive corruption such as we saw in this case leads to the breakdown of the legitimate operations of the institution.” Stephen Moyer, secretary of the state’s corrections department, assigned eight investigators to work with federal officials and root out corruption.