A little excitement where I work. I worked with these four officers for a number of years, and now they've tarnished our uniform and embarrassed my coworkers and me. All for a few extra bucks.
Guards Charged With Smuggling Drugs, Cell Phones To Inmates
U.S. Attorney Files Indictment
POSTED: 1:54 pm EDT September 21, 2007
UPDATED: 7:16 pm EDT September 21, 2007.
The U.S. Attorney filed indictments against four Graterford prison guards Friday for smuggling contraband to prisoners.
Prison guards Tony Strong, 46, Allen Littles, 37, Sheri Allen, 38, and Ronald S. Smith, 51, all of Philadelphia, were charged with extortion and attempted distribution or conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, according to the indictment.
Howard L. Grant, 37, of Philadelphia, who is not a prison guard, was charged with distribution and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, according to the indictment.
According to the indictment, the defendants were receiving cash and/or drugs in exchange for supplying inmates at Graterford State Prison in Montgomery County with heroin, cocaine, marijuana and cell phones.
Grant was alleged to have supplied some of the drugs that were taken into the prison and the drugs that were used to pay some of the guards.
According to the indictment, Grant also was charged with supplying drugs to an individual who Grant believed was aiding an inmate, a convicted murderer, in an escape attempt. The escape was unsuccessful.
The time of all the alleged offenses ranged from 2001 through February 2007.
"There is no ambiguity in the policies and procedures of the prison system.
Every guard knows the rules," United States Attorney Pat Meehan said.
"The indictments (Friday) allege that for a few dollars these guards violated the rules and the trust placed in them by both prison officials and the taxpayers of Pennsylvania."
"These officers allegedly broke the law while they were being paid to ensure that inmates followed the rules. That's not something we can tolerate," Meehan said.
"They didn't just turn a blind eye to criminal activity in the prison, they promoted it, for a fee. The inmates who could afford the price were able to experience all the comforts of life on the outside. There wasn't much that drugs or cash couldn't buy them," Jody Weis, of the FBI, said. "You would think that someone who works in a prison would avoid any type of behavior that might potentially avoid him or her from seeing the inside of a prison cell."
"When our employees choose to violate the trust placed in them they place the public in greater danger and they place other employees and inmates in danger," Jeffrey Beard, Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections, said.
As part of the long-term investigation, the following people were also charged and have been convicted: Daphne Nedab, a former corrections officer at Graterford Prison, was charged in January 2007 with insurance fraud; Charles Bob, a former Graterford Prison corrections officer, was charged in 2002 with attempting to distribute drugs at another prison facility.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and the Pennsylvania State Police.