The indictments unsealed Tuesday alleging widespread gang operations aided by corrupt corrections officials in Maryland prisons is the latest in a series of such cases that stretch back at least ten years.
The charges followed a familiar pattern: the female correctional officers smuggled cell phones to gang members, who used them to place orders for marijuana, drugs and other contraband with gang members on the outside. The correctional officers then smuggled the Xanax, Percocet and other drugs into the prison for sale. Money flowed in and out of the prison by the use of pre-paid debit cards, known as green dot cards.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Twenty-five people were indicted in Baltimore this week, 13 of them prison guards in a story that involves gangs, bribes, drugs and sex - and it's real life, not a TV show. The indictments say a group of prisoners have essentially been in charge of the Baltimore City Detention Center, working with prison guards to run a lucrative drug and cell phone smuggling operation.