By Leila Katibah
PHILADELPHIA, PA – After a Grand Jury investigation, District Attorney Larry Krasner last Thursday announced the arrests of individuals, including a former correctional officer implicated in organized crime operating out of a county prison.
Barry Garland is alleged to have run a criminal organization from his jail cell between July and October of 2021, and to have bribed former corrections Officer Khalif Workman, a co-conspirator, to smuggle contraband such as drugs and cellphones into the prison, that Garland resold to fellow detainees for significant profit.
Workman is alleged to have received $23,000 in bribes from the criminal organization, in which he smuggled narcotics and other prohibited items, said DA Krasner.
Garland is alleged to have illegally arranged, through a contraband cell phone, the delivery of an AR-15 to a criminal associate outside of prison, who transferred it to another associate. The AR-15 was allegedly purchased with profits made from selling contraband, through the mobile payment platform Cash App.
According to the Grand Jury, Garland purchased the AR-15 after hearing one of his associates had been murdered in Southwest Philadelphia on Oct.6 in 2021. In March, Philadelphia Police Homicide Unit arrested Roderick Williams for the murder of Garland’s associate.
On Oct. 8, 2021, Garland sent a text message to a fellow detainee, Barry Jones, stating “my right hand just got smoked two days ago n my man hit tf up yesterday [sic]” and “[a]t the end of the day kin my n—gas need more guns so I need money to do that shit up out there [sic].” The AR-15 was purchased around 10 days later.
DA Krasner said Garland’s associate, Lawshanda Crawford, confirmed the purchase from Edward Humphrey, who is ineligible to own or carry a firearm, by texting Garland a picture of the firearm with a thumbs-up emoji. Garland also asked Crawford to purchase .223 caliber rounds for the firearm, adding that he would be purchasing another AR-style firearm to stay with Crawford.
The gun was then allegedly transferred to associate Rudolph Terrell, who is also prohibited to own or carry a firearm. The AR–15 firearm has yet to have been recovered, although the same firearm is shown in a YouTube video associated with Terrell posted in Nov. 2021.
A criminal investigation of this alleged conspiracy began on Oct.19, 2021, after a member of the PDP Correctional Emergency Response Team, acting on a tip, found a cellphone and other contraband in Garland’s jail cell. Officer Workman resigned from the PDP six days after the discovery.
At the recommendation of the Grand Jury, the DAO Special Investigations Unit has charged five individuals with multiple felony offenses, including Officer Workman, detainee Garland, detainee Jones, and Garland’s associates, Lashawnda Crawford and Ashline Garcia Cruz.
The Grand Jury recommended Conspiracy and Corrupt Organizations charges against Workman, Garland, and their co-conspirators, citing that the criminal enterprise was “acquiring illegal narcotics, smuggling contraband into RCF, delivering that contraband to other inmates within RCF, and receiving and distributing proceeds of those unlawful activities.”
Another alleged co-conspirator of Garland was murdered on Feb. 6, 2022, but an arrest has yet to have been made on that case.
Garland remains in custody, awaiting sentencing on cases separate from the grand jury trial. Workman and Crawford have been arrested in relation to this investigation and are awaiting trial. The Special Investigations Unit still has active warrants for the arrests of alleged co-conspirators Jones, Garcia Cruz, and Humphrey.