RadioOnFire.com – Twenty-five Baltimore correctional officers were indicted on 236 counts as a result of an internal investigation carried out by state corrections officials, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Tuesday.
The officers have been indicted on charges including gang participation, assault, misconduct in office and related counts of conspiracy charges.
“All 25 of these correctional officers have allegedly abused their power and abused our trust,” Mosby said. “If you break the law and you break the trust… that the authorities have placed in you, you will face punishment.”
There are 25 underlying offenses and each of the officers charged participated in at least one of them, said Patrick Seidel, chief of the major investigations unit in the state’s attorney’s office. Nine officers participated in three or more, he said.
DPSCS officials said all officers are charged with conspiracy to maintain and promote a criminal organization by unlawful means, participation in a criminal gang, assault, misconduct in office and conspiracy charges.
Specifics of the allegations were unavailable. Mosby cited the ongoing criminal investigation.
Gov. Larry Hogan cast the indictments as part of a broader effort to root out corruption in the correctional system. The state runs Baltimore’s jails.
“We are again making clear that we have absolutely no tolerance whatsoever for corruption of any kind in our state prison system or anywhere else in state government,” Hogan said in a statement. “Our correctional officers have one of the most difficult jobs in all of public safety, and we will not let the criminal behavior of the few tarnish the great work of the nearly 5,000 dedicated officers who serve with distinction every single day.”
Robert L. Green, secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said internal investigators first became aware of the allegations last year and looked at conduct as far back as 2016.
He said the case was “disturbing” but doesn’t reflect business as usual for the rest of Maryland’s correctional officers.
“In my nine months as sec here, I’ve encountered professionalism, compassion, kindness and respect that is typical of this department,” Green said.
Green said the officers were part of a paramilitary tactical unit of up to 52 people. Last year, the department took action to remove them from their assignments. At the time of the indictment, all of the officers charged were on administrative leave.