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Baltimore Defense Lawyer Accused Of Sneaking Drugs To Her Jailed Clients

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Jill Swerdlin
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Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—She’s used to defending accused criminals in court, now a local defense attorney finds herself on the wrong side of the law.

Derek Valcourt explains her arrest is connected to her work as a lawyer.

Police say she was helping sneak drugs into her clients locked up in jail.

Attorney Jill Swerdlin may now need a good lawyer of her own.

The 46-year-old allegedly used visits with her locked up clients to discuss their legal cases as an opportunity to sneak drugs to them behind bars.

“Earlier this year we received information that a local defense attorney was bringing drugs into the Baltimore County Detention Center and distributing them to the clients.  The investigation showed that that attorney was Swerdlin,” said Elise Armacost, Baltimore County police spokeswoman.

Under this newly unsealed indictment, she’s now charged with drug possession and conspiracy with intent to distribute.

As part of their investigation, police say they seized prescription pills, including oxycodone and Xanax.

And Swerdlin was not alone. In all, authorities indicted eight other people in connection with a scheme to get prescription drugs into the detention center.

Among those indicted is her 20-year-old son Brett Swerdlin, an assistant in her law office and at least one of her clients.

WJZ wanted to talk to Swerdlin about the allegations, but no one answered the door at her Phoenix, Md. home Friday, and our phone calls were not returned.

“Our narcotics team is still working on it, so this is very much an ongoing investigation, and we will have to see where it leads us,” Armacost said.

WJZ reached out to State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger. He declined to comment on the case.

There is no word on a motive.

If convicted, Swerdlin faces the possibility of up to 24 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.

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