Twenty-five Maryland corrections officers and staff were indicted on charges they used excessive force, intimidation, evidence tampering and other criminal measures to ensure their tactical unit maintained “dominance of its operational territory” in state-run jails, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby said Tuesday, the Baltimore Sun reports. The indictment of Baltimore Central Regional Tactical Unit members on 236 counts — including first-degree assault, participation in a criminal gang and misconduct in office — pushes to more than 200 the number of Maryland corrections officers, inmates and civilian accomplices who have been criminally charged in prison corruption cases in four years.
Those indicted Tuesday include the tactical unit’s supervisor and about half its membership. The group is tasked with responding to incidents and maintaining order in state facilities. Mosby said the latest charges stemmed from an investigation launched last year after “rumors and anecdotes” were relayed regarding abuses by the unit. The probe “divulged multiple examples of excessive force utilized against detainees at different facilities, which ultimately led to the discovery of a criminal enterprise functioning within the tactical unit,” Mosby said. Corrections officials worked with prosecutors to build a case against the officers, many of whom were placed on administrative leave last year but only arrested Tuesday. At least 25 detainees have been identified as victims, with investigators gathering information from surveillance footage and interviews with corrections staff. Acting Capt. Kevin Hickson, 49, the tactical unit’s supervisor, was accused of being the “organizer, supervisor, promoter and manager” of the criminal enterprise and outlined 47 incidents in which he or other members of his team assaulted detainees.