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Former correctional officer sentenced to 27 months plus 3 years of supervised release in smuggling scheme

A former correctional officer was sentenced Monday to 27 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to a federal racketeering charge.

Janel Griffin, 41, of Baltimore was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis after prosecutors said she helped smuggle narcotics, unauthorized flash drives, tobacco and cellphones into the Maryland Correctional Institute Jessup.

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“This prosecution demonstrates that we will not tolerate employees in positions of trust violating their oaths,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said in a news release. “Janel Griffin will now serve more than two years in federal prison—where there is no parole, ever. Federal, state, and local officials will continue to work together to root out corrupt employees and others who undermine the administration of justice at our prisons.”

Prosecutors said Griffin smuggled contraband for at least one inmate, Corey Alston, and met with others to receive the products as well as payments. Alston pleaded guilty last year to a racketeering charge.

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In addition to Griffin and Alston, 12 other defendants — six outside facilitators, three prison employees, and three inmates — have pleaded guilty.

State and federal authorities announced last April that they had dismantled the smuggling ring at the men’s prison in Jessup. Prosecutors say the guards were sneaking an array of contraband into the prison — fentanyl, ecstasy, synthetic marijuana, prescription pills, alcohol and tobacco — by hiding drugs under their clothing and in their hair.

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