Metropolitan Transition Center Detainee Pleads Guilty to Federal Racketeering Conspiracy Charges Relating to a Smuggling Scheme | USAO-MD

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Baltimore, Maryland – Christopher Mann, age 39, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty yesterday to racketeering conspiracy in relation to a scheme to smuggle contraband into the Metropolitan Transition Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Secretary Robert Green of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

According to his guilty plea, from June 2020 to November 2020, while Mann was a detainee at the Metropolitan Transition Center, he and other employees, detainees, and associates of MTC conspired to participate in a pattern of racketeering activity, including drug distribution and bribery.  Additionally, while Mann was a detainee, he engaged in a romantic relationship with a correctional officer (Co-conspirator 1).

Specifically, Mann, and at least three other conspirators, including outside facilitator, Cania Jefferson, age 35, and two correctional officers (Co-conspirator 1 and Co-conspirator 2) worked together to smuggle contraband into MTC in exchange for bribe payments.  At Mann’s direction, Co-conspirator 1 sent $1,000 bribe payments to Co-conspirator 2 on multiple occasions.  In exchange for these bribe payments, Co-conspirator 2 smuggled contraband into MTC and delivered it to Mann.  For example, in July 2020, after receiving a bribe payment from Mann, Co-conspirator 2 smuggled two cell phones, suboxone, and K2 into MTC but was apprehended by law enforcement on their way to MTC.

As stated in his guilty plea, in September 2020, law enforcement intercepted a series of phone calls in which Co-conspirator 1 and Mann devised a scheme to spray liquid K2 onto a piece of paper, and to smuggle the paper into MTC through the United States mail service.  At Mann’s direction, Co-conspirator 1 sent the piece of paper to another detainee.  The mailing was seized by jail administrators, tested by a chemist, and found to have been soaked in synthetic marijuana.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation.  OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Mann faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for racketeering conspiracy.  U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander has scheduled sentencing for October 21, 2022, at 2 p.m.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI and DPSCS for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter J. Martinez and Aaron S.J. Zelinsky who are prosecuting the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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