Home » Philly correctional officer helped run an organized crime ring out of a city jail cell, grand jury says

Philly correctional officer helped run an organized crime ring out of a city jail cell, grand jury says

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A former prisoner in Philadelphia has easy access to a cell phone and drugs, and is armed with an AR-15 assault rifle for a colleague seeking revenge for a murder in southwestern Philadelphia. I was able to deliver.

All he had to do was place an order with Pizza Man, according to a grand jury presentation unsealed Wednesday.

According to court documents, it was the nickname of corrections officer Caliph Workman, 30. The prison veteran, who served nine years, is accused of taking over $23,000 in bribes over the last two months in return for helping inmate Barry Bones. Garland runs a criminal organization out of the city prison, Riverside Correctional Institution.

Workman, Garland, and an alleged co-conspirator were arrested in September on charges of corrupt organization, and a fourth man was charged with illegal possession of a gun and other charges. An arrest warrant has been issued for a fifth person, Ashline Garcia Cruz, according to the District Attorney’s Office, while others are under investigation.

Workman was released on $500,000 unsecured bail. When I got the call on Thursday, he hung up without commenting. Garland remains in prison, represented by the city’s public defender’s office, which declined to comment on his behalf.

Assistant District Attorney Daniel Margorski said additional arrests were being made in connection with the conspiracy.

“What is very surprising and shocking is that he was able to direct the illegal transfer of an AR-15… It was done in connection with or in response to the perpetuation of chains of violence.”

” read more: Twenty-nine people died in Philadelphia prisons during the pandemic. “Well done,” city officials said.

The alleged crimes spanned the summer and fall of 2021, a year prison staff and inmates described as the air thick with the chemical fumes of K2, often a synthetic drug. Eighteen of his inmates at the Philadelphia Prison Service died that year, three of them from murder and at least four of his from drug overdoses. At least nine people have died this year at the State Road complex in northeastern Philadelphia, where about 4,500 people are awaiting trial or serving short sentences.

The presentation details how Garland was able to direct drug sales cell block by cell block through the prison network. E Block texted her one of the co-conspirators and said she needed to “earn at least $500 a day.”

District Attorney Larry Krasner said he briefed the mayor, prison warden and police commissioner about the charges. He said the case reflected the challenges prisons faced during the pandemic, during which “despite our best efforts, opportunities for criminal activity were created.”

A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Prison Service said in a statement that the prison is turning to new technology such as “state-of-the-art email scanning” and “body scanning” of inmates. We are installing scanners for our staff in ,” the statement said.

Screenshot text messages in the filing suggest the operation was funding gun purchases. Mass shootings in the city have reached historic heightsGarland texted his community mates, saying, “I need more guns, so I need money for that.”

Last year, as part of a federal class action lawsuit filed by inmate rights advocates over prison conditions, an expert said: Understaffing and lax execution Contraband was allowed to flow freely through the prison. An analysis of the department’s data found more than 40,000 cell searches in 2019, but only 2,000 in 2021. found five times more contraband.

another prison officer, Hanif Lawton was also arrested For smuggling drugs and phones into prison last year. Lawton has pleaded guilty in federal court and is awaiting sentencing.

In October 2021, informed prison officers found contraband in Garland’s cell, according to the presentation. The worker resigned after a few days.

David Robinson, president of the Prison Officers Union, Local 159 of AFSCME District Council 33, said he was unaware of the arrest of the former officer. He said his K2 problems in prison had improved and the repeated riots last year appeared to have subsided.

“But,” he added. There is still a lot of craziness out there. Blocks can also be unmanned due to lack of staff. ”

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