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Press Release

Maryland Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice and Destruction of Records Related to Cover-Up of Excessive Force Incident

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

Baltimore, Maryland – David Quillen, 37, of Ocean View, Delaware, a correctional officer at the Eastern Correctional Institution (“ECI”) in Westover, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to obstruct justice and to destruction of records, related to covering up evidence that a fellow officer at ECI had unlawfully assaulted an inmate.

The guilty plea was announced by Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland; Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; and Acting Special Agent in Charge R. Joseph Rothrock of the FBI Baltimore Field Office.

According to his guilty plea, on July 12, 2021, while working at ECI, Quillen learned that another officer had used force against an inmate.  Upon learning of the incident, Quillen responded to the scene with a video camera and began recording the inmate.  While Quillen filmed him, the inmate asserted that he had been assaulted by a correctional officer—Officer Samuel Warren—for no reason.  The inmate also cried, and was visibly injured, with blood on his face.

After Quillen stopped filming, he and other officers watched the video Quillen had filmed.  While watching the video, a supervisory officer commented that the video did not look good for Warren and indicated that the video should be deleted.  Warren agreed, and Quillen and other officers agreed to lie about the deletion.  Understanding that the video contained evidence that Warren’s use of force against the inmate had been unlawful, Quillen deleted the video. 

Following the deletion, Quillen lied about what happened to the video, including to supervisors at ECI, and to state and federal investigators.

Warren has since admitted that he unlawfully assaulted the inmate and has pleaded guilty to federal offenses related to that assault.

Quillen faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for the conspiracy to obstruct justice and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for destruction of records.   U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for May 22, 2024.

U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke commended the FBI and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for their work in the investigation and thanked the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for its assistance.  Mr. Barron also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Marquardt and Trial Attorney Erin Monju of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section who are prosecuting the case, with assistance from Special Legal Counsel Mark Blumberg of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit and

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Updated February 22, 2024

Civil Rights