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Press Release

Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty In Baltimore Jail Racketeering Conspiracy

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

Fourteenth Officer Pleads Guilty

Baltimore, Maryland - Correctional officer Sean Graves, age 48, of Windsor Mill, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to participating in a racketeering conspiracy arising from the smuggling of drugs and contraband inside the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC).

The guilty plea was 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 Gregg Hershberger of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.

This case was 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. The investigation is continuing.

According to court documents, the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) has been the dominant gang at the BCDC, and in several connected facilities, including the Baltimore Central Booking Intake Center BCBIC, the Women’s Detention Center, which houses many men, and in the Jail Industries Building.

Graves, a correctional officer at BCDC, admitted that he smuggled contraband into the jail from 2011 to 2013. Graves smuggled in marijuana, tobacco and other contraband on behalf of BGF leader Tavon White. Graves smuggled drugs such as Percocet and marijuana into BCDC for distribution by BGF inmates, and acted in concert with other correctional officers.

Graves faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the racketeering conspiracy. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander scheduled sentencing for September 12, 2014 at noon.

Twenty-four of the 44 defendants charged in the conspiracy have pleaded guilty, including 14 correctional officers. One defendant has died. Trial is scheduled to begin November 17, 2014 for the remaining defendants.

U.S. Attorney Rosenstein recognized the efforts of the other members of the Maryland Prison Task Force, including: Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; United States Marshal Johnny Hughes; Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Tom Carr, Director of the Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area; and Dave Engel, Executive Director of the 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 are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

Updated January 26, 2015