Ex-CO, 2 inmates and facilitator plead guilty to federal racketeering conspiracy charges
Officials say they smuggled contraband and received thousands of dollars in bribes for bringing the drugs and other items into a maximum security prison
By McKenna Oxenden
BALTIMORE — A former correctional officer, two inmates and an outside “facilitator” pleaded guilty this week to federal racketeering conspiracy charges after they smuggled contraband and received thousands of dollars in bribes for bringing the drugs and other items into a Jessup maximum security prison.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office of Maryland said in a news release Wednesday that a total of 15 people have pleaded guilty in the case, with three people entering guilty pleas on Tuesday and Wednesday: former correctional officer Dominique Booker, 45, of Baltimore; inmates William Cox, also known as “Dollar,” 45, and Vernard Majette, also known as “Nard,” 40; and facilitator Vonda Bolden, 57, of Baltimore.
Booker and Cox will be sentenced June 7, Bolden on July 29 and Majette on Aug. 1. Each person faces up to 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors allege the scheme went on from at least 2017 through the beginning of 2020.
Booker, who no longer works at the prison, slipped through security screenings at Jessup by hiding the items on their bodies, and then traded them for cash, electronic payments and sex, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors allege that inmates would call outside “facilitators” to order contraband and then collect it and pay the officers after they smuggled it. They also allege that inmates with jobs inside the prison could move freely and sell the contraband at costs that far exceeded those on the streets.
Inmates named in the indictment could arrange the purchase of strips of Suboxone — a drug used to treat opioid addiction — for $3 apiece and sell them behind prison walls for about $50, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office.
The indictmnt alleges that the defendants smuggled heroin, MDMA and synthetic marijuana into the correctional facility.
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