5 Crimes We Saw On OITNB That Happened In Real Life
By Abbey DiDonato
- Drug Trafficking
The main character of Netflix’s original series, Piper Chapman, was sentenced to 13 months for her involvement with an international drug cartel – she ended up at Litchfield women’s prison after being busted for smuggling money for the cartel.
While Piper’s character is inspired by the real life Piper Kerman, who wrote a memoir about her 13 months in prison, there is a more extreme example of a woman involved in a major drug ring. Beatrice Codianni was sentenced to 17 years at Danbury Federal Correctional Institute for her involvement with one of our country’s largest street gangs. She was a leader of the Latin Kings, and was found guilty for profiting from their drugs sales and for ordering an attack on a rival drug dealer.
- Breaking out of prison
Spoiler alert: In the season finale, Vee escapes Litchfield through the prison’s garden tunnel. In the same episode, Rosa also escapes thanks to Lorna, who purposely left the keys inside the van so she could drive away.
Two convicted murderers, David Sweat, 35, and Richard Matt, 49, broke out of Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Dannemora, New York, during the summer of 2015. Similar to Vee’s method, the two men escaped through the prison’s underground piping system. After 26 days on the run, Matt was shot and killed by police. They captured Sweat two days later and placed him in solitary confinement.
3. Officer-inmate relationships
Daya, an inmate doing time for drug-related charges, asks Corrections Officer John Bennett for a piece of gum in episode 2 of the show’s first season. That exchange ignited their prison romance, which eventually led to her scandalous pregnancy.
In April 2013, four female prison guards were impregnated by the same inmate at Baltimore City Detention Center. According to CBSnews.com, the inmate, Tevon White, “showered three of them with expensive gifts including cars and jewelry. Two of the women even tattooed Tevon’s name on their bodies. Of course, the four women faced federal charges for their inappropriate relationships with the inmate.
- Sneaking Contraband Into Prison
Another guard, George Mendez, also dubbed “Pornstache,” smuggled a bag full of Oxycontin pills into Litchfield for Tricia (“Trish”), an inmate, to sell to her fellow prisoners. Unfortunately, this ended with Tricia’s death after she ingested the entire bag herself and overdosed.
At that same Maryland prison from #3, 13 female guards were indicted for participating in a large scale gang-operated criminal enterprise. Law enforcement officials listening in on tapped cell phone conversations discovered the scheme, incriminating Correctional Officers for sneaking drugs and phones into the prison for inmates in exchange for money and sex.
Natalie (aka Fig) was fired from her role as Executive Assistant to the Warden at Litchfield Penitentiary after hefty budget cuts for programming revealed she was actually embezzling money from the Department of Corrections.
At the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, a clerical supervisor was found guilty of siphoning money from the prison’s Employee Welfare Fund. An audit of the account she managed revealed that more than $73,800 was missing.