Drugs-for-bribes scheme lands a Maryland prison inmate extra time in lockup

A Maryland prison inmate bribes a prison employee, so she’ll bring him drugs hidden in her shoes.

That’s not a movie script. It happened at a medium-security prison in Maryland, and the inmate learned his sentence on Friday, according to a news release from the Maryland’s U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Jerrard Bazemore, 36, an inmate at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup, admitted he conspired with other inmates, people outside the prison and a prison employee to smuggle in drugs, such as fentanyl and heroin.

The employee, Patricia McDaniel, worked in the kitchen, where Bazemore had a prison job.

After arranging for outside people to get Bazemore the drugs, he sent McDaniel a message that said, “I love you. Don’t forget it.”

McDaniel successfully made the drugs-in-the-shoes delivery in August 2017, according to the news release.

A few weeks later, in September, Bazemore, who is also known as Tic, asked McDaniel to bring him more drugs in exchange for $300. But things didn’t go as smoothly.

McDaniel was stopped in the prison parking lot before she could enter the building. She had a purple balloon filled with heroin, fentanyl, Suboxone, which is a drug used to treat opioid addiction, and K2, a synthetic cannabinoid drug.

The plan was foiled because investigators had been listening in on calls Bazemore had been making with a cellphone he wasn’t supposed to have.

Bazemore pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge. He was sentenced Friday to more than four years in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

McDaniel, 29, of Baltimore, also pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy, and is awaiting sentencing.

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Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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