Maryland Couple Pleads Guilty in Prison Drug-Smuggling Conspiracy
BALTIMORE, Md.- A Hurlock man and his wife have pleaded guilty to a drug-smuggling conspiracy aimed at bringing controlled substances into Maryland correctional facilities.
The investigation began with a tip that a woman was bringing drugs into Dorsey Run Correctional Facility, a state prison in Jessup. The woman was later identified as Ester Noemi Cortez, 27, of Elkridge, according to the Mayland Attorney General.
On May 5, 2018, Cortez allegedly arrived for a morning visit at Dorsey Run with 33-year-old inmate Clarence Hubert Allen, formerly of Hurlock. The two had married in prison the day before. Intelligence officers conducted a K-9 scan of Cortez, which alerted them to the presence of drugs. She later reportedly produced three bundles from a body cavity with each containing heroin, suboxone, synthetic marijuana, tobacco and rolling papers, according to prosecutors.
The investigation further revealed that the couple were engaged in an ongoing conspiracy.
“This husband and wife team attempted to distribute illegal drugs in our correctional facilities,” Attorney General Brian Frosh said. “As a result of our investigation, the drugs were seized and Ms. Cortez and Mr. Allen will serve time behind bars.”
Allen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute buprenorphine, the controlled ingredient in suboxone, and conspiracy to deliver contraband into correctional facilities. He was sentenced in the Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County to two years behind bars, consecutive to the sentence he was already serving.
Cortez pleaded guilty to felony possession with intent to distribute buprenorphine and conspiracy to deliver contraband into correctional facilities. Her sentencing is scheduled for May 13.
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