Former Correctional Officers and Drug Supplier Sentenced to Prison in Baltimore Jail Racketeering Conspiracy
BALTIMORE, MD—U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced former correctional officer Derrick Jones, age 41, of Aberdeen, Maryland, today to 20 months in prison, followed by 18 months of supervised release, for racketeering conspiracy arising from their participation in the smuggling of drugs and contraband for members of the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) gang inside the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC). Judge Hollander also sentenced Linnard Wortham, a/k/a “Stu,” age 29, of Pikesville, Maryland, to 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for the racketeering conspiracy and for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Judge Hollander is expected to sentence the defendants in this case who pleaded guilty and did not testify at trial.
Also today, U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced former correctional officer Katera Stevenson, a/k/a KK, age 24, of Baltimore, to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for her role in the racketeering conspiracy. Last week, Judge Motz sentenced former correctional officers Danielle Forrest, age 28, to 21 months in prison; and Jasmin Jones, a/k/a/ J.J., age 24, and Tanierdra Finch age 26, both of Baltimore, each to a year and a day in prison. Judge Motz also sentenced former CO Vivian Matthews to six months of home detention and outside supplier Teshawn Pinder to time served, each followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Motz is sentencing the defendants in this case who pleaded guilty and testified at trial, as well as the defendants convicted at the trial.
The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Secretary Stephen T. Moyer of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS); Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
“I have a strong relationship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and look forward to working with them and the FBI to continue weeding out corruption,” said Stephen T. Moyer, Secretary of the MD Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
This case developed as a result of the efforts of the Maryland Prison Task Force, formed in 2011 with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors. The Task Force has met regularly for over three years, generating recommendations to reform prison procedures and producing leads that have been pursued by state, local and federal criminal investigators. Investigations are continuing.
According to court documents, BGF has been the dominant gang at the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC), and in several connected facilities, including the Baltimore Central Booking Intake Center, the Women’s Detention Center, which houses many men, and in the Jail Industries Building. Tavon White and other BGF leaders and members incarcerated at BCDC were involved with and often directed the smuggling of contraband into BCDC, including cell phones, tobacco and drugs, through the services of correctional officers (CO’s), who received payments, gifts or a share of the profits.
Former correctional officers Katera Stevenson, Derrick Jones, Danielle Forrest, Jasmin Jones, Tanierdra Finch, and Vivian Matthews admitted that while they worked at BCDC, they helped smuggle contraband into the jail, including tobacco, marijuana, and prescription drugs, on behalf of and for further distribution by BGF members. Derrick Jones also admitted to smuggling cell phones to BGF members. Vivian Matthews supplied prescription pills to associates of Tavon White, including Tyesha Mayo, to be smuggled into BCDC. The defendants knew that by smuggling such contraband into BCDC, they furthered the racketeering enterprise of BGF.
Stevenson, Forrest, Finch and Jasmin Jones also entered into personal and sexual relationships with inmates who were BGF gang members. For example, Stevenson had a sexual relationship with BGF leader Tavon White, by whom she had a child. Stevenson had “Tavon” tattooed on her wrist. Jasmin Jones and Finch had sexual relations with BGF member Jamar Anderson, for whom they also smuggled contraband. On behalf of BGF leaders White and Jamar Anderson, Jasmin Jones also opened cells to allow gang members to mingle on the tier, and she warned of impending searches by prison officers. Danielle Forrest admitted that she had sexual relations with inmates who were BGF leaders. At the direction of one of those inmates Forrest met outside suppliers to obtain contraband, which she smuggled into BCDC. Forrest also managed payments for drugs using her Green Dot account on behalf of those inmates.
Wortham admitted that he supplied contraband, including marijuana, that was smuggled into BCDC. Wortham gave the contraband to COs who then smuggled the contraband to BCDC inmates, including Derius Duncan and Jamar Anderson. Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Wortham’s residence on November 20, 2013 and seized crack cocaine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and $4,000.
Teshawn Pinder picked up contraband from sources outstide BCDC on behalf of Jamar Anderson and held the items until COs recruited by Anderson could pick them up and smuggle them into BCDC. Pinder also facilitated payment for the drugs, purchasing “Money Paks” for Anderson and transmitting the numbers to him or loading them herself onto Green Dot cards.
Tavon White, a/k/a Bulldog and Tay, age 37, of Baltimore was sentenced to 12 years in prison; Jamar Anderson, age 24, of Baltimore, was sentenced to 121 months in prison; Jermaine McFadden, age 26, of Baltimore, was sentenced to 140 months in prison; and Derius Duncan, age 28, of Baltimore, was sentenced to five years in prison, for their participation in the racketeering conspiracy. Outside supplier Tyesha Mayo pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
Forty of the 44 defendants charged in the racketeering conspiracy have been convicted, including 24 correctional officers. Thirty-five defendants pleaded guilty; five defendants were convicted after trial. Three defendants were acquitted and one defendant died.
U.S. Attorney Rosenstein recognized the efforts of the other members of the Maryland Prison Task Force, including: the Maryland State Police, Prince George’s County Police Department, United States Marshals Office, DEA, Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Baltimore Police Department, and Maryland Prison Task Force, for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Robert R. Harding and Ayn B. Ducao, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.