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June 10, 2011

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.         
      

Posted by Peter Hermann at 7:38 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Confronting crime, Courts and the justice system, Gangs
        

Comments

It all correctional institutions across the land this problem exist.

AND ALL SHE GOT FOR WHAT SHE DID WAS 37 MONTHS HOW SHAMEFUL
SHE'LL BE OUT IN ROUGHLY 18 MONTHS

So her illegal activities went on for 5 years and she's only sentenced to 3 years? What a joke. You're a clown U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr.

She isn't the only one. The Fed's should look at the parking lot at the vehicles some correctional officers drive, their life styles, and how much money they actually take home on their paychecks.
It's not rocket science to figure out that the correctional officers I speak of didn't hit the lotto. Having been on the inside for a number of years, I know first hand how it works. I put more than one correctional officers kid through college.

...only 37 months????

She should have recieved more time for what she had done. She placed everyone who worked with her live in danger.

I think she got what she deserved. She is a disgrace to honest hard working c.o's who risk their lives on a daily basis. period....a disgrace....plain and simple.

Oh they act surprised when it is one of the major issues in all The America Industrial Prison System. WAKE UP people the Monster created by the legislators of this country is out of control and they don't know what to do about what they have created. One more for them. Not Soft on Crime, Strong on Fair Justice

3 years instead of 25 =informant

she should have gotten more time coz most correctional & police officers are dirty anyway!!!!

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.



Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.
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