Western also holds Michael Edward Thompson, a former Baltimore officer serving consecutive life sentences for murdering a woman who was pregnant with his child and her 5-year-old daughter. And it previously held Michael Dennis Feeney, a former Anne Arundel County officer sentenced in 1997 to 18 months in prison for sexual offenses.

Eastern is home to Reginald Watson, a Baltimore school police officer given a five-year sentence in 2010 for sexually abusing a student at Masonville Cove Community Academy, and Keith Washington, a former Prince George's County officer who got a 45-year sentence in 2008 in the slaying of a furniture delivery man.

Lawyers for the Baltimore officers convicted in the kickback scheme largely said they expected their clients' clean records to keep them out of the high-security federal facilities, and for the most part, that's what has happened.

Of the 12 officers already assigned to prison or serving their terms, 11 were sent to facilities that have minimum-security, satellite prison camps attached. It's unclear if they are actually in the camps, though it's likely they are, attorneys said. Such camps have dormitory housing, a low staff-to-inmate ratio and "limited or no perimeter fencing," according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The camps are typically filled with those who "defrauded on a mortgage or stole someone's ID and are doing a very short amount of time," Baltimore attorney Gary Proctor said. He represented Officer Rafael Feliciano Jr., who pleaded guilty to extortion and conspiracy in the kickback case and is serving his two-year sentence in Atlanta, which has a satellite camp.

The officers will be expected to work while imprisoned, and will have free time for recreation and educational opportunities in the evenings and on the weekends, unless their assigned jobs give them different schedules.

"I am sure [the officers] would do OK" in the camps, Proctor said. "No one in there is trying to lose their privileges, and they all generally behave themselves. At the other end of the spectrum" are high-security penitentiaries that can be extremely violent, he said.

Although most of the Baltimore officers were sent to penitentiaries with satellite camps, there is one exception so far. Henry Yambo is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where infamous mob bosses are frequently housed while awaiting trial.

It "houses some of the worst of the worst," said Yambo's attorney, Nicholas J. Vitek. He asked the Bureau of Prisons why his client is there, but said they won't give him any information. "For security reasons, they don't reveal their decision-making process, and I respect that," Vitek said.

Prior to sentencing, Vitek had asked U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake, who presided over the kickback cases, to consider alternatives to prison, based on other cases where courts have bowed to concerns that officers "could face danger" while incarcerated. But she set prison terms of varying lengths for all of the officers.

"Thankfully" in these cases, Vitek said, "I don't think there are going to be any officers who come into interaction with anyone who they helped put into" prison.



Examples of police officers sentenced to prison

2012: Richard Delabrer, Prince George's County PD, 46 months in federal prison for conspiracy to traffick in contraband cigarettes.

2011: Gahigi Tshamba, Baltimore PD, 15 years in state prison for voluntary manslaughter and a handgun violation in the shooting death of a former Marine during a bar fight.

2010: Reginald Watson, Baltimore City School PD, five years for sexually abusing a 16-year-old student at Masonville Cove Community Academy.

2006: James Blankenship Jr., Baltimore County PD, 18 months for sexually abusing a 7th-grade boy (released after one year).

2005: Keith Jennings, Baltimore PD, three years for sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman in a vacant row house.

1997: Michael Feeney, Anne Arundel County PD, 18 months for sexual offenses linked to an encounter with a Rite Aid manager at a Parole store.

Source: Baltimore Sun research

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