Dozens of ECI Inmates, Correctional Officers and Others Federall - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dozens of ECI Inmates, Correctional Officers and Others Federally Indicted for Trafficking Contraband Within Prison

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

BALTIMORE, Md. - Eighty inmates, correctional officers and others have been indicted on charges related to trafficking contraband within the Eastern Correctional Institution in Somerset County.

According to the two separate indictments for the east and west compounds, 18 of the defendants were correctional officers (COs), 35 were inmates and 27 were facilitators, meaning they obtained and transported contraband to the COs from outside the prison.

The indictments state that the COs accepted payments from facilitators and/or inmates, or engaged in sexual relations with inmates, to smuggle contraband into ECI, including narcotics, cell phones and tobacco. 

The average “going rate” for a CO to smuggle contraband into ECI was $500 per package.

According to the indictments, COs were able to hide contraband on themselves despite having to pass through security screening at the entrance to the prison.

Early Tuesday morning FBI Agents assisted by Maryland State Police were seen executing a court ordered search at 676 W. Main Street in Salisbury. FBI spokesman, Dave Fitz said one man was arrested at this location in connection with the federal indictments. Agents could be seen carrying several items from the house; it's uncertain exactly what those seized items were. 

Charges against the 80 defendants include racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute drugs. The maximum sentence for each defendant is 20 years in prison, according to the office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.

Two of the correctional officers and two of the inmates also face a maximum of 10 years in prison for deprivation of rights under color of law for their alleged involvement in the stabbing of two inmates in separate incidents, according to the indictments.

All of the COs and facilitators who were named in the indictments will have their initial appearances held in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore, while the inmates will have their initial appearances at a later date.

Located near Westover in Somerset County, ECI is a medium-security prison for men that houses more than 3,300 inmates over 620 acres. It is the largest state prison in Maryland.

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