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Governor Announces Prison Indictments

TOWSON, MD (January 11, 2018) – Governor Larry Hogan today announced the indictment of two correctional officers and 16 inmate and citizen accomplices involved in a widespread drug smuggling ring. This represents the latest effort by the Hogan Administration to end corruption in Maryland’s prisons and correctional system.

Governor Hogan was joined by State Prosecutor Emmet C. Davitt, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Stephen T. Moyer, Maryland State Police Superintendent William M. Pallozzi, as well as officers involved in the investigation. Davitt will lead the prosecution, which was built over a year-long investigation of Jessup Correctional Institution officers that spanned several counties.

“From the first day of our administration, our team has been working diligently to root out wrongdoing and corruption no matter where it is taking place, including in our state prisons and throughout our correctional system,” said Governor Hogan. “We have absolutely no tolerance whatsoever for corruption of any kind in our state prison system or anywhere else in state government. To anyone who engages in criminal behavior, make no mistake about it – we will find you, we will arrest you, and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.

Since taking office, the Hogan administration has invested more than $7 billion toward crime prevention across the state. In July 2015, Governor Larry Hogan announced immediate closure of the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC) – Men’s Detention Center, bringing to an end the facility’s long history of corruption, appalling conditions, and waste of tax dollars. Additionally, the administration provided funding through the Governor’s Office of Crime, Control and Prevention for the state’s corruption unit, as well as added new investigators to examine prison corruption. The administration has also enhanced the quality of correctional officer candidates by enacting a law which requires polygraph tests.

The indictments bring the number of arrests involving prison corruption to over 100 involving correctional officers, inmates and citizen accomplices since Governor Hogan took office in 2015. Davitt commended the investigation, initiated by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, which operates the state prison system.

“This case demonstrates the accomplishments that came out through a partnership between different law enforcement agencies,” Davitt said. “I have seen a cooperation between agencies that, at least in my prosecutorial career, was unprecedented.”

Moyer called the guns, drugs, and cell phones recovered in the probe tools that fuel prison violence by creating a black market for narcotics inside the facilities.

“We have close to 6,000 dedicated correctional officers who work tirelessly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year who we will support by going after those unwilling to live up to the commitment they made to the people of this great state,” Moyer said.