Corrections officer who doubled as gang member sentenced to prison
A corrections officer who was associated with the Black Guerrilla Family gang has been sentenced to 37 months in prison. Alicia Simmons was accused of helping to smuggle heroin and cell phones into the downtown Baltimore prison through the laundry.
Prosecutors also said she allowed gang members to fight and tried to identify police informants. The Sun's Justin Fenton wrote in July that evidence seized from a raid on her Pikesville apartment linked her to a who's who of Baltimore criminals.
That included a letter from a Bloods member with a signature tinted red contact lenses, another man linked to several killings and the producer of the infamouse Stop Snitching videos. She got caught up in a sweeping take-down of the BGF gang.
Here is a statement from the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office on the case:
U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Alicia Simmons, age 34, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 37 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to conduct and participate in the activities of the Black Guerilla Family (BGF), a racketeering enterprise.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein; and Secretary Gary D. Maynard and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
“Prisons are much more secure when the criminals are the people in the cells and the keys are in the hands of law-abiding correctional officers,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to court documents, the Black Guerilla Family (BGF), is a nationwide gang operating in prison facilities and major cities throughout the United States. Founded in California in the 1960s and introduced into the Maryland correctional system in the mid 1990s, BGF in Maryland is increasingly active on the streets of Baltimore City, as well as in various prison facilities in Maryland.
According to court documents, BGF conducts its affairs through a pattern of criminal activity, including: narcotics trafficking, robbery; extortion; bribery; retaliation against a witness or informant; money laundering; and commercial robbery.
BGF members arrange to have drugs, tobacco, cell phones, food and other contraband smuggled into Maryland prison facilities, sometimes recruiting and paying employees of prison facilities, including corrections officers, to assist BGF and its members in the smuggling of contraband, the collection of intelligence and in the concealment of BGF's criminal activities.
BGF members use violence and threats of violence to coerce incarcerated persons to pay protection money to BGF, to enforce the BGF code of conduct, and to increase their control of the Baltimore City drug trade and the underground "prison economy" in Maryland correctional facilities.
Simmons admitted that from 2006 through June 2010, while she was a correctional officer employed by the Division of Corrections for the State of Maryland, she was a BGF associate and smuggled contraband items, including cellular telephones, tobacco, and drugs into correctional institutions where she was working for various inmates, including members of the BGF and other gangs.
Simmons further admitted that at times she was paid a bribe by members of BGF and other gangs, to smuggle the contraband into the correctional institution where she was working. Finally, Simmons admitted that she participated in the drug trafficking activities of the gang and specifically was responsible for members of the conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute between 80 and 100 grams of heroin.