ECI Correctional Officer Sentenced To 46 Months In Federal Prison For Racketeering Conspiracy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact ELIZABETH MORSE
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4885
Baltimore, Maryland – United States District James K. Bredar has sentenced Xavier Holden, age 28, of Salisbury, Maryland to 46 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release for his role in a racketeering conspiracy. Holden is one 80 defendants who were charged in two separate indictments for a racketeering conspiracy operating at the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover, Maryland. The indictments charge 18 correctional officers (COs), 35 inmates and 27 outside “facilitators,” for their roles in the conspiracy, which involved paying bribes to correctional officers to smuggle contraband, including narcotics, tobacco, and cell phones, into the prison.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Postal Inspector in Charge Robert B. Wemyss of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division; Secretary Stephen T. Moyer of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
As of today’s sentencing, 66 of the 80 defendants originally indicted have pled guilty, including 12 of the 18 correctional officers who were charged. Chief Judge Bredar has sentenced all defendants who have appeared before him to date to a term of imprisonment, including the following inmates and facilitators. Today’s sentencing is the first sentencing of a correctional officer:
Shawn Benbow: 46 months
Joseph Branch: 42 months
Jamar Hutt: 41 months
Samuel Johnson: 29 months
Mark Lance: 27 months
Michael Page: 46 months
Kevin Stanley: 27 months
Kevin Thompson: 57 months
Ramel Chase: 33 months
Stewart Gough: 50 months
Deven Matos: 41 months
Reggie Fosque: 24 months
Markayla Reynolds: 1 year + 1 day
Keisha Barksdale: 1 year + 1 day
Antoine Gray: 24 months
Elvia Hall: 21 months
Marcus Lisbon: 65 months
Rose Thomas: 21 months
Holden joined the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services on October 22, 2012 and was assigned to Housing Unit 1.
COs have a duty to further the legitimate purposes of ECI by ensuring that inmates follow the rules enacted for their health and safety and the health and safety of prison employees and the larger community, including, most importantly, the prohibition of criminal activity while incarcerated. The Defendant abused his position of trust as sworn officer of DPSCS by engaging in illegal activities for the purposes of enriching himself.
As a CO, Holden received annual training in ethics and professionalism. COs were taught that: Inappropriate relationships with inmates can include bribery, conflicts of interest, solicitation and acceptance of gifts, the offering of gifts, favors and services to inmates, ex-inmates, relatives of inmates, improper contact or failure to report contact with inmates, ex-inmates, relatives or friends and the appearance of inappropriate relationships.
According to the Correctional Officer’s Handbook: “The illegal possession and/or use of any controlled substance and/or controlled paraphernalia while on or off duty is strictly prohibited. . . . An employee may not possess or convey contraband into an institution or onto institutional property.”
Holden smuggled contraband into ECI in exchange for bribes from inmates. Holden delivered tobacco and K2 two times a week between August 2014 and June 2015 to co-defendant Samuel Johnson and another inmate associated with Johnson. Holden also smuggled contraband into ECI in exchange for bribes from inmate and co-defendant Ramel Chase.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the Baltimore Police Department and Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leo J. Wise, Robert R. Harding, and Daniel C. Gardner, who prosecuted the case.