Baltimore, Maryland – Five defendants, all from Baltimore, pleaded guilty this week to their participation in a racketeering conspiracy in which drugs and other contraband were smuggled inside several correctional facilities for members of the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) gang. The following defendants pleaded guilty today:
Katrina Laprade, a/k/a Katrina Lyons, age 31, a correctional officer;
Kenneth Parham, age 23, a BGF inmate; and
Tyrone Thompson, a/k/a Henry, age 36, a supplier of contraband.
Jermaine McFadden, a/k/a Maine, age 24, an inmate, pleaded guilty on November 5th and Teshawn Pinder, age 24, a supplier, pleaded guilty on November 4th.
The guilty pleas were 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 Gary D. Maynard 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 Baltimore City Detention Center (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.
Katrina Laprade, a correctional officer at BCDC, admitted that in 2012 and 2013, she helped smuggle contraband, including marijuana and tobacco, into BCDC on behalf of Stephen Loney, a BGF leader.
Kenneth Parham, a BGF member, while in pretrial custody at the BCDC from 2012 to 2013, directed the smuggling of contraband into BCDC, including cell phones, tobacco and drugs, through the services of correctional officers who received payments, gifts or a share of the profits. As a close associate of inmate and BGF leader Tavon White, Parham knew many correctional officers involved in contraband trafficking. Parham also helped conceal contraband from prison officials at BCDC.
Tyrone Thompson admitted that he distributed prescription pills to other co-defendants who then smuggled the pills to inmates at BCDC.
Jermaine McFadden was associated with BGF while incarcerated at BCDC in 2012 and 2013. McFadden arranged with correctional officer Katera Stevenson and another correctional officer to bring Percocets, cell phones, tobacco, marijuana, and other contraband into BCDC. He then sold the contraband to other inmates including members of BGF.
Teshawn Pinder, at the direction of a BGF inmate, picked up controlled substances and other contraband from sources outside the BCDC. Pinder held the items until she could turn them over to a correctional officer recruited by the BGF inmate to smuggle them into BCDC. Pinder also helped pay for the drugs, purchasing “Money Paks” for the BGF inmate and transmitting the numbers to him, or loading them herself onto Green Dot cards. Sometimes, she paid cash to the drug suppliers.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the racketeering conspiracy. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander scheduled sentencing for Parham, Pinder and Thompson on February 6, 2014, and scheduled sentencing for Laprade and McFadden on March 12, 2014.
In addition to Laprade, seven other CO’s have pleaded guilty to the racketeering enterprise:
Kimberly Dennis, age 26, of Baltimore, Maryland
Jasmin Jones, a/k/a/ J.J., age 24, of Baltimore;
Taryn Kirkland, age 23, of Baltimore;
Jennifer Owens, a/k/a/ O and J.O., age 31, of Randallstown;
Adrena Rice, age 25, of Baltimore;
Katera Stevenson, a/k/a KK, age 24, of Baltimore; and
Jasmine Thornton, a/k/a J.T., age 26, of Glen Burnie.
Three other co-defendants, inmates Tavon White, age 36, and Steven Loney, age 24, both of Baltimore, and Tyesha Mayo, age 29, of Baltimore, have also pleaded guilty.
The investigation was 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 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.