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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Correctional Officer Sentenced In Baltimore Jail Racketeering Conspiracy

Correctional Officer Smuggled Drugs and Contraband for BGF into Baltimore Correctional Facility and Had Sex With a BGF Inmate

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced correctional officer Jasmine Thornton, a/k/a J.T., age 26, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, to 32 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for racketeering conspiracy arising from the smuggling of drugs and contraband for members of the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) gang inside the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC).

The sentence 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; Acting 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, 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.

According to her plea agreement, Thornton worked as a correctional officer at BCDC and BCBIC from 2007 to 2013. She had a personal and sexual relationship with one of the leaders of the BGF inmates at BCDC. Thornton smuggled large quantities of contraband, including marijuana, tobacco and prescription pills, into BCDC on behalf of the BGF leader and other BGF leaders, including Steve Loney and Tavon White. Thornton also warned inmates of impending searches by prison officers.

Thornton is the third correctional officer to be sentenced in the conspiracy. Correctional officers Taryn Kirkland, age 23, and Adrena Rice, age 26, both of Baltimore, previously pleaded guilty to their participation in the conspiracy and were sentenced in January 2014, each to 42 months in prison. Six other correctional officers have pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy and await sentencing.

BGF leader Tavon White, age 36, and BGF commander Steven Loney, age 24, also pleaded guilty to the racketeering enterprise. Loney was sentenced on January 14, 2014 to nine years in prison. Tavon White awaits his sentencing.

Tyrone Thompson, a/k/a Henry, age 46, who admitted to supplying prescription pills that were smuggled into the jail, will be sentenced tomorrow at 11:30 a.m.

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