Several inmates at the State Correctional Institution at Greene, as well as some of their relatives outside of the prison, are facing charges in an alleged scheme to sell drugs to other inmates.
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) charged inmates Lamont Hall, 30; Jimmie Tassos, 44; Mark Davis, 28; and Maurice Ferrier, 32, with conspiracy to possess contraband, criminal use of a communication facility and knowledge that property is the proceeds of an illegal act.
Margaret Tassos, 36, of California Avenue, Pittsburgh, and Latarsha Denise Fisher-Davis, 46, of Detroit, Michigan, face the same charges for allegedly helping to facilitate the drug smuggling scheme, according to the DOC.
The DOC filed the charges against the six last week following a lengthy investigation.
According to the criminal complaint, investigators became suspicious of Hall and Ferrier in October 2017, when Hall was caught trying to hide a cellphone.
On Aug. 9, 2018, a corrections officer discovered sticks of cocoa butter containing 10 small plastic bags of synthetic marijuana, according to the complaint. Ferrier allegedly admitted the substance was his, and Hall told investigators that Ferrier sold the marijuana to other inmates.
According to the complaint, the investigation showed that Hall, Ferrier, Jimmie Tassos and Mark Davis were all involved in selling the synthetic marijuana, as well as suboxone, to other inmates.
The marijuana was laced with acetone and sickened several inmates after they smoked it, according to the complaint. A corrections officer who came in contact with it also became ill, officials said.
Davis spoke with his mother, Fisher-Davis, about the scheme, authorities said, and their conversations were recorded on the prison’s phone system.
According to the complaint, they discussed “dollar amounts, size of packages and confirmation numbers.”
The criminal complaint accuses Fisher-Davis of assisting in the purchase, delivery and distribution of drugs in the prison. She is also accused of contacting relatives of inmates to collect money.
Between March and July last year, authorities said Hall received $1,150 from “Lou Smith” in his email account.
“Lou Smith” was a fake name and account set up at the jail by Margaret Tassos, wife of Jimmie Tassos, according to DOC officials. Margaret Tassos used the fake account to collect money from inmates who were purchasing drugs. According to the complaint, the money she and Fisher-Davis collected was meant for Hall.
Hall was sending $300 to $700 per month to an outside savings account, according to the complaint.