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Press Release

First Defendant, A Correctional Officer, Sentenced In Jail House Racketeering Conspiracy

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

Smuggled Drugs for BGF Gang Members into Baltimore Correctional Facility; Nine Correctional Officers and Seven other Defendants Have Pleaded Guilty to Date

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced correctional officer Adrena Rice, age 25, of Baltimore today to 42 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for racketeering conspiracy arising from the smuggling of drugs 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.

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, the Women’s Detention Center, which houses many men, and in the Jail Industries Building.

According to her plea, Adrena Rice worked as a correctional officer at BCDC. Rice frequently smuggled contraband, including marijuana and prescription pills, into BCDC on behalf of BGF leader and inmate, Tavon White. Rice also helped other correctional officers, such as Jennifer Owens and Katera Stevenson, smuggle drugs into BCDC.

Eight other correctional officers have pleaded guilty to the racketeering enterprise and await sentencing:

Kimberly Dennis, age 26, of Baltimore
Jasmin Jones, a/k/a/ J.J., age 24, of Baltimore;
Taryn Kirkland, age 23, of Baltimore;
Katrina Laprade, a/k/a Katrina Lyons, age 31;
Vivian Matthews, age 26, of Essex, Maryland;
Jennifer Owens, a/k/a/ O and J.O., age 31, of Randallstown;
Katera Stevenson, a/k/a KK, age 24, of Baltimore; and
Jasmine Thornton, a/k/a J.T., age 26, of Glen Burnie.

Seven other co-defendants have also pleaded guilty: inmates Tavon White, age 36; Steven Loney, age 24; Jermaine McFadden, a/k/a Maine, age 25; and Kenneth Parham, age 24; and outside contraband suppliers Tyrone Thompson, a/k/a Henry, age 36; Tyesha Mayo, age 30 and Teshawn Pinder, age 24. Loney is scheduled to be sentenced on January 14, 2014. Outside supplier James Yarborough, a/k/a J.Y., age 27, of Baltimore, is scheduled to have a rearraignment on January 15, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

The case arose from the efforts of the Maryland Prison Task Force, a group of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors that met regularly for more than two years and generated recommendations to reform prison procedures. The investigation is continuing.

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