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Press Release

Attorney General Recognizes 14 Members of Maryland Law Enforcement for Their Efforts to End Corruption at the Baltimore City Detention Center

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland – Attorney General Loretta Lynch recognized 279 Justice Department employees and 33 individuals, including 14 members of Maryland law enforcement, with Attorney General Awards at a ceremony today in Washington DC. These annual awards recognize department employees and other individuals for their dedication to carrying out the Department of Justice’s mission.  

“The individuals being honored today stand out within a department that holds all of its employees and partners to an extremely high standard of excellence,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “They have put in long hours, made immense sacrifices, and, in some cases, placed themselves in harm’s way.  They have taken on issues that once seemed intractable, and made progress on problems that once seemed impossible.  And their outstanding work is an inspiration to public servants everywhere.”

“The longstanding corruption at the Baltimore City Detention Center was brought to an end because of exceptional work by dedicated law enforcement professionals,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service was awarded to a District of Maryland team for their outstanding efforts to end corruption at the Baltimore City Detention Center through the successful investigation and conviction of forty defendants charged in a racketeering conspiracy, including 24 correctional officers.  The investigation and prosecution revealed that Black Guerilla Family (BGF) gang members and associates bribed correctional officers at BCDC and related prison facilities to smuggle drugs, cell phones and other contraband. Correctional officers arranged favored treatment and privileges for imprisoned BGF gang members, and officers thwarted interdiction and law enforcement efforts against BGF inmates.  BGF members and associates held at BCDC had long-term sexual relationships with several correctional officers and impregnated them.  The team also worked closely with state correctional officials and other agencies to identify systemic weaknesses and develop effective reforms.  The shocking facts detailed in the charging documents prompted the state legislature to step in with enhanced oversight.  As a result of the case, correctional and law enforcement agencies developed new intelligence about prison corruption and a strategy about how to conduct criminal investigations behind bars.

The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service was presented to:  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert R. Harding and Ayn B. Ducao, Legal Assistant Joanna B. Huber, all with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland; FBI Supervisory Special Agents Wendy L. Hassett and John C. Hawkins; FBI Special Agents Karen R. Franks, Erika Jensen, Jeffrey P. Kramer, David D. Lee, and Sarah T. Lewis; FBI Intelligence Analyst Jody E. Zaruba; and FBI Task Force Officers Michael R. Corcoran from the Baltimore Police Department, Lynn G. Grant from the Prince George’s County Police Department, and Michael J. Baier formerly with the Baltimore Police Department and now with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Updated October 21, 2015

Office and Personnel Updates