By Associated Press - Saturday, October 17, 2020

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) - A former correctional officer has pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering conspiracy charge in connection with her work at a Maryland prison, authorities announced Friday.

According to 27-year-old Chanel Pierce’s plea agreement, she conspired with inmates and outside facilitators to smuggle contraband, including controlled dangerous substances such as Suboxone, into the Jessup Correctional Institution and then distribute it to inmates.

In exchange for regularly smuggling in the contraband, Pierce received thousands of dollars in bribe payments, according to a U.S. Justice Department news release.

Inmates at the maximum-security prison then sold the contraband, making profits that far exceeded similar sales on the street, the news release said.

Pierce, of Pikesville, Maryland, is scheduled to be sentenced in January. She faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. Several other co-defendants in the scheme have also pleaded guilty.

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