*Following a yearlong investigation by the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Antoine Fordham, a Corrections Officer at a Maryland prison, was accused of being a high-ranking member of the 8-Trey Crips street gang. He was indicted on 35 charges that include first-degree attempted murder, drug distribution and smuggling of contraband, according to an announcement by state officials on Thursday.
Fordham has been in jail for the past few months after illegal guns were found in his home. Although he was the actual target of the above-mentioned investigation, 25 other people were indicted last month in Anne Arundel Circuit Court for alleged gang activity. Maryland corrections officer Phillipe Jordan and the mothers of three inmates were among them.
The attempted murder charge stems from Fordham authorizing an assault on a former crips member who is gay. The man, who was incarcerated, ended up being stabbed 30 times, but survived.
According to the Washington Post, the indictment says members of the 8-Trey Crips street gang operated in Baltimore City and several other areas of the state, delivered contraband including drugs, tobacco and cellphones into Maryland prisons. Authorities in court papers described several instances in which they said Fordham was involved in the transport of contraband.
The indictment says Fordham also ran a large-scale, contraband-delivery operation in several Maryland correctional facilities, including Jessup Correctional Institution and Maryland Correctional Institution.
The inmates used the prison phone system and illegal cell phones to place orders, and paid via the online payment system, PayPal.
“It’s a disgrace that gangs are operating in our prisons. It’s even worse where they’re abetted by folks who have taken an oath to uphold the law,” Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) said.
Lawrence Rosenberg, Fordham’s attorney, declined to comment.
If convicted, the indicted members of the conspiracy face between three years to life in prison.
“This is a major step forward,” Frosh said. “I hope it’s a crippling blow to gang violence in prison, but I suspect, based on past history, that there’s a lot of work to be done.”