One sentenced, two plead guilty in BGF jail case

A corrections officer at the Baltimore City Detention Center received a 30-month prison term Tuesday for her role in a wide-ranging drug smuggling plot hatched by members of the Black Guerrilla Family gang.

Katrina Laprade, 32, pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge in November and was sentenced the day before the anniversary of the initial indictment in the case being unsealed.

Federal investigators found that inmates and the corrections officers worked together to smuggle drugs and cell phones into the downtown Baltimore jail. The gang members reaped the profits of the scheme, banking their money using prepaid Green Dot cards.

On Monday, another corrections officer, Tanierdra Finch, 26, and an inmate, Frederick Morrison, 29, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy. They were charged last November in a second indictment aimed at people suspected of being involved in the wide-ranging conspiracy.

Morrison faces a five-year prison term consecutive to a lengthy state sentence he is serving, according to his plea agreement.

Laprade's sentence is the lightest given to a corrections officer convicted in the case. Jonathan Biran, her attorney, said the prison term reflected his client's lesser culpability in the conspiracy, as well as family issues that were handled under seal.

Laprade did not cooperate with authorities in their investigation, he added.

"We had asked for a sentence of one year and one day so we were disappointed that we didn't get a lower sentence, but we understand what [the judge] said about the seriousness of these events," Biran said.

Attorneys for the other two defendants could not be reached for comment.

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