Four to plead guilty in prison smug­gling case

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND WORLD -

Four de­fen­dants in a sprawl­ing rack­e­teer­ing case at Mary­land’s largest prison have agreed to plead guilty for their roles, court records show. The guilty pleas come just one month after the mas­sive case was un­sealed. Eighty peo­ple, in­clud­ing 18 corrections of­fi­cers, were charged in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which found wide­spread drug smug­gling in­side the Eastern Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion on the Eastern Shore. As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Leo J. Wise wrote in a sta­tus up­date to the court Nov. 10 that the gov­ern­ment was in the process of pro­vid­ing dis­cov­ery to de­fen­dants and their at­tor­neys. Four de­fen­dants had al­ready signed plea agree­ments, he said, while oth­ers wanted to dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity. The court docket lists four de­fen­dants who are slated for “re­ar­raign­ments.” The first hear­ing is sched­uled for to­day, when Miguel Matos, 46, of Fort Wash­ing­ton will ap­pear in court. Matos was de­scribed as a “fa­cil­i­ta­tor” who helped get drugs to a corrections of­fi­cer who smug­gled the con­tra­band into the fa­cil­ity, ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment. Cor­rec­tional of­fi­cer Rachelle Hanker­son, 26, of Sal­is­bury was ac­cused in the in­dict­ment of smug­gling in drugs for bribes. Her hear­ing is sched­uled for Wed­nes­day. Ramel Chase, 34, of Glen Burnie who ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment was sus­pected of dis­tribut­ing Subox­one, is slated for a re­ar­raign­ment Thurs­day. The fourth de­fen­dant slated for a re­ar­raign­ment is Trina Williams John­son, 44, of Baltimore who au­thor­i­ties listed as a “fa­cil­i­ta­tor.” Her hear­ing is slated for Dec. 21. John­son’s at­tor­ney David Ir­win con­firmed her guilty plea, and noted she had no prior crim­i­nal record and suf­fered from a se­ri­ous med­i­cal con­di­tion.

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