Father and Sister of Inmate Plead Guilty to Federal Racketeering Charge Related to Maryland Correctional Institution Jessup
Managed the Proceeds of Illegal Contraband Sales for Family-Member Inmate Corey Alston
Greenbelt, Maryland – On December 19, 2019, Ashley Alston, age 28, of Baltimore pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering charge and on December 20, 2019, her father Aldon Alston, age 55 also of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to the same charge, for participating in a scheme to smuggle contraband into the Maryland Correctional Institution Jessup (MCIJ), including narcotics, unauthorized flash drives, tobacco, and cell phones. Ashley is the sister and Aldon is the father of MCIJ inmate Corey Alston, a/k/a “C,” age 29, who pleaded guilty on September 18, 2019, to the same charge.
The guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Secretary Robert L. Green, of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
According to court documents, MCIJ was a medium-security prison in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, that housed approximately 1,100 male inmates, with 262 custody staff or correctional officers (COs) and 52 non-custody staff, including case management, medical, and administrative staff.
According to their plea agreements, Corey Alston recruited Ashley and Aldon Alston to obtain and package contraband, meet with correctional officers and employees to provide contraband and bribe payments, and manage the proceeds of illegal contraband sales for Corey Alston. At Corey Alston’s direction, Ashley and Aldon met with co-conspirator facilitators, including Tyirisha Johnson, to receive contraband as well as bribe payments, which they provided to Correctional Officer Janel Griffin and other corrupt prison employees to smuggle into the facility in exchange for bribes. Recorded jail calls between Corey Alston, his sister and his father confirm that beginning in April and July 2017, respectively and continuing until August 14, 2017, Ashley and Aldon Alston met with Johnson or another facilitator, as well as with corrupt prison employees, to obtain contraband and proceeds of the sales and to provide bribe payments. The contraband included Suboxone, Percocet, Ecstasy, K2, and tobacco, which they obtained and delivered to be smuggled into MCIJ.
Inmate Corey Alston admitted that he was a leader in the racketeering conspiracy.
Ashley and Aldon Alston each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis has scheduled sentencing for Aldon Alston on March 24, 2020, and for Ashley Alston on March 26, 2020, both at 4:00 p.m. Tyirisha Johnson, age 23, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy on July 23, 2019. No sentencing date has been set for Johnson or Corey Alston.
This case arose from the efforts of the Maryland Prison Task Force, coordinated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and comprised of local, state, and federal stakeholders that meet regularly to share information and generate recommendations to reform prison procedures and attack the gang problem that has plagued Maryland in recent years. The work of the Task Force previously resulted in the federal convictions of more than 80 defendants, including 16 correctional officers, at the Eastern Correctional Institution, and 40 defendants, including 24 correctional officers, at the Baltimore City Detention Center.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI and the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for their work in the investigation. The U.S. Attorney expressed appreciation to the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, whose staff initiated the MCIJ investigation and have been full partners in this investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lauren E. Perry and Sean R. Delaney, who are prosecuting this case.
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