Investigations under way in MCI fight, powder discovery

February 24, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

Investigators are probing a weapons fight and drug possession by several inmates in two separate incidents at the Maryland Correctional Institution this month, a Maryland Division of Correction spokeswoman said Monday.

Capt. Priscilla Doggett said the Internal Investigative Unit is looking into a Feb. 11 incident involving a fight and a Feb. 17 incident involving the discovery by correctional officers of several baggies containing white powder on several inmates at the prison south of Hagerstown.

On Feb. 11, at least five inmates exiting MCI's "B" building, en route to the lunch area, began fighting at about 4 p.m., Doggett said. She would not name any of the men involved, saying the investigation was ongoing.


"These five inmates were removed from the area and placed in segregation," Doggett said.

One of the inmates was sent to a hospital, although she could not specify which one, for treatment of multiple lacerations he suffered from a homemade shank, she said.

Doggett said staff found two homemade shanks and a lock attached to a belt. Two other shanks were found later in the prison, but Doggett said they were not believed to have been involved in the incident.

Six days later, correctional officers conducting random searches of inmates in the "D" housing tier found that several inmates were in possession of packets of a white powdery substance, Doggett said. She said test results to determine the contents of the baggies had not be released to the department by Monday afternoon.

The inmates found in possession of the suspected drugs were placed in segregation, Doggett said. She would not name the men involved in the incident or say how much of the substance was found.

Doggett said she did not know if drug possession and use was an ongoing problem at MCI.

"Are we concerned about finding the contraband? Yes, always," she said. "The corrections officers did a good job in finding this."

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