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FBI agent in evidence-tampering probe was part of BGF investigation

Baltimore City Detention Center
Baltimore City Detention Center (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun)

A federal judge ordered Thursday that a high-profile case revolving around the Black Guerrilla Family gang's takeover of the city jail will not be affected by the involvement of an FBI agent who is under investigation for allegedly tampering with evidence in Washington D.C.

Attorney Carmen D. Hernandez, who is representing jail employee Michelle McNair, said earlier Thursday that the involvement of Special Agent Matthew Lowry is a "potential serious issue" in the case, which is slated to go to trial Monday in U.S. District Court.

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The Washington Post has reported that Lowry is alleged to have taken drugs being stored in a lab for a court case, and was found slumped over in his vehicle in September with drug evidence bags, heroin and two firearms. Since then, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington has dropped nearly 30 cases involving Lowry, and others are under review.

But officials with the U.S. Attorney's office said that at a motions hearing Thursday, prosecutors said Lowry's involvement was limited to just two searches, from which the government is not seeking to admit evidence. Judge Ellen Hollander ordered no further action or disclosures by the government related to Lowry in the case, officials said.

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In numerous other cases, prosecutors say Lowry also played only a small role and they do not intend to dismiss.

Lowry, 33, is the son of William Lowry, an assistant chief for the Anne Arundel County Police Department.

Many of the 44 defendants in the 2013 detention center case have pleaded guilty, but eight — Joseph Young, Russell Carrington, Clarissa Clayton, Riccole Hall, Ashely Newton, Travis Paylor, Michelle Ricks, and McNair — are slated to go on trial Monday. The alleged ringleader, inmate Tavon White, pleaded guilty last August.

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