A man who used his position as a Maryland correctional officer to oversee a gang will serve 20 years in prison.
Antoine Fordham, 33, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a variety of charges. He was sentenced in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court on Thursday to 35 years, with all but 20 suspended, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced.
Fordham was a leader of a Crips gang while he was a sergeant for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correction Services in the Jessup Correctional Institution, Frosh’s office said.
Fordham oversaw gang members inside and outside prison facilities, getting information from inmates and authorizing violence and assigning gang members to carry it out. He also oversaw the smuggling of contraband, the statement said.
Fordham had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to establish and entrench a gang, participating in a criminal gang, committing a felonious hate crime, soliciting assault in the first degree, misconduct in office, and possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Guns, drugs and gang manifestos were found at his home.
“Antoine Fordham abused his position as a correctional officer to benefit himself and other violent members of the Crips gang,” said Attorney General Frosh. “The joint effort to investigate and prosecute this dangerous criminal helped dismantle his operation and bring about a significant sentence, behind bars this time.”
“The actions of this individual placed our officers and staff in danger and jeopardized our public safety mission,” said DPSCS Secretary Robert L. Green. “Our system will not tolerate such activities and will take all steps possible to protect the public, our facilities, and staff.”
The investigation has led to the conviction of 25 other people in the prison contraband and gang conspiracies, including Phillipe Jordan, another correctional officer, the statement said.
Jordan was arrested in October 2017, shortly after prosecutors say he met with the twin sister of an inmate incarcerated at the Jessup Correctional Institution and received a $2,000 bribe to smuggle heroin, synthetic marijuana and nine cellphones into the facility.
The Associated Press and WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.