Broken oaths

Washington Division Acting Inspector in Charge Terry McKeown helps announce the indictments at an Oct. 5 news conference in Baltimore.

The Postal Inspection Service is part of a major prison corruption investigation that led this week to 80 federal indictments in Maryland, the most in the state’s history.

The indictments charge correctional officers and inmates, along with outside conspirators who allegedly used PO Boxes to smuggle narcotics, tobacco, cell phones and other illegal items into a Westover, MD, prison.

The conspirators allegedly rented the PO Boxes to send the contraband and bribery payments to correctional officers.

Washington Division Acting Postal Inspector in Charge Terrence McKeown helped announce the indictments Oct. 5.

“Today’s arrests by postal inspectors and our law enforcement partners serve as a warning to street criminals and corrupt public servants that the nation’s mail system is not a tool for use by those who traffic in drugs and illegal contraband,” McKeown said.

“We are committed to safeguarding the interests of law abiding citizens and our Postal Service employees by working to eliminate these dangerous substances from the U.S. Mail.”

Each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the racketeering conspiracy, and for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute drugs.

The Department of Justice’s news release has more information.