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1st Baltimore Correctional Officer Sentenced In BGF Prison Scandal

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Adrena Rice
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Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A Baltimore City correctional officer accused of being part of a drug smuggling operation at the Baltimore City Detention Center has been sentenced to three and half years in prison. She is the first guard to be sentenced since the federal investigation blew the cover of the Black Guerrilla Family gang.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on what the former guard had to say after being sentenced.

The 25-year-old single mother stood before a judge, never denying her involvement with the gang. In fact, she told the judge she ruined her life.

It’s a corruption scandal that has rocked Baltimore City.

For almost a year, correctional officers at the jail were accused of working in collaboration with inmates and Black Guerrilla Family gang members to smuggle drugs and cell phones.

“This situation enabled BGF members to continue to run their criminal enterprise within the jail and on the streets of Baltimore,” an investigator said.

In federal court, Adrena Rice—one of 13 correctional guards indicted in April—is now heading to a federal prison after the judge sentenced her to three and half years.

In court, Rice stood tearfully before the judge saying, “I know what I did was wrong, I apologize for everything that I did . . . I know I made a messed up decision in my life.”

The indictment reveals a conversation between Rice and Tavon White, the mastermind behind the BGF drug smuggling operation at the jail.

She is heard saying, “I am just about my money. I love money. I love it.”

Witnesses tell FBI investigators Rice not only smuggled drugs but also slept with three BGF inmates while on the job.

Her sentence of 42 months is a fair deal according to U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein.

“I think that’s a pretty significant sentence for a first time offender, somebody who pleaded guilty and admitted her role in this racketeering enterprise,” Rosenstein said.

Eight other correctional officers indicted have also pleaded guilty and are expected to be sentenced over the next few weeks.

Rosenstein hopes this crackdown sends a stiff message to other employees who may abuse their power.

“If you’re in law enforcement, if you’re a correctional officer and you get involved in supporting activities of a gang, you’re going to wind up behind bars yourself,” Rosenstein said.

The story doesn’t end with Rice. In November 2013, 14 additional officers were indicted, bringing the total number of guards facing prison time to 27.

The jail has made a number of changes since this investigation, including a new screening process.

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