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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 21, 2022

PICC Inmate Sentenced to Seven Years for Conspiring With Corrections Officer to Smuggle Contraband Into Prison

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced Kennard Murray, 37, of Philadelphia, PA, a currently incarcerated inmate at the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center (PICC), was sentenced to seven years in prison and three years of supervised release by United States District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe for his role in a conspiracy to smuggle contraband into the facility.

In May 2021, the defendant and two co-defendants, Haneef Lawton, 34, a Philadelphia Corrections Officer, and Charlene Stallings, 43, the defendant’s girlfriend, were charged by Indictment with conspiracy; federal program bribery; and distribution, conspiracy to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute narcotics.

The defendant and Lawton agreed to smuggle contraband on multiple occasions into PICC in exchange for a series of bribes. As part of the arrangement, Lawton delivered the narcotics to Murray, and Murray arranged to sell the contraband to other inmates in exchange for cash and electronic payments via peer-to-peer methods such as CashApp. In return, Murray and Stallings paid Lawton over $11,400, also using CashApp. Through this scheme, the defendants were able to traffic as much as $69,000 worth of contraband into PICC.

“One goal of incarceration is to deter future criminal conduct,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “But instead of learning from previous mistakes, this defendant used his time behind bars to commit even more illegal acts by smuggling dangerous contraband inside. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will not tolerate this kind of lawless behavior.”

“Murray conspired from behind bars on this money-making scheme to have contraband smuggled into his facility,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “It’s disheartening when incarcerated prisoners are determined to keep breaking the law like this. Introducing illegal contraband into prisons poses a danger to correctional officers and inmates alike – that’s why the FBI is so determined to put a stop to it and hold those involved accountable.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Affairs from the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Eric L. Gibson and Frank Costello.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Contact: 
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA 615 Chestnut Street, Suite 1250 Philadelphia, PA 19106 JENNIFER CRANDALL Media Contact 215-861-8300 If you have not done so already, follow @USAO_EDPA and @USAttyWilliams on Twitter to get the most up-to-date information about big cases and community news.
Updated March 21, 2022