A former prison guard has pleaded guilty to trying to deliver heroin to an inmate at a facility that specializes in drug treatment.
Frederick Leon Burchfield, 29, of the 4000 block of Woodridge Road in Baltimore, is scheduled to be sentenced in October in Howard County Circuit Court for possession with intent to distribute the drug, and for attempting to smuggle it to an inmate. Burchfield entered his plea Thursday.
Police said Burchfield was arrested April 6 on U.S. 1 when he picked up six packets of heroin and a $75 delivery fee from an undercover officer posing as a drug dealer.
Assistant State's Attorney Lara Weathersbee said Burchfield admitted having delivered drugs to inmates at Patuxent Institution on 30 or 40 occasions; he was paid $50 or $75 each time.
Burchfield had been a guard at Patuxent Institution in Jessup since 1997. Weathersbee said inmates would give him telephone or beeper numbers of drug dealers. Burchfield then would arrange a meeting, collecting drugs and payments at the pickup spot.
Patuxent houses between 700 and 800 inmates, said facility spokesman Capt. James Jenkins. Almost every prisoner receives some form of addiction therapy, he said.
Because he was a guard, Burchfield's crime "not only undermines the prison's basic authority over inmates, it undermines the entire drug treatment system," Weathersbee said yesterday. The commission of drug crimes by prison guards is not specifically addressed by Maryland criminal statutes.