More than a year after a riot that led to more than $1.3 million in damage and four months of lockdown at Crossroad Correctional Facility, 22 men have been charged in connection with the incident.
The six-hour riot began on May 12, 2018, when 209 inmates at the Cameron prison refused to return to their cells following dinner. According to corrections officers who were there at the time, the inmates became aggressive and gained access to the kitchen and warehouse where they began to cause extensive damage, and one man allegedly gained control of a forklift during the incident.
At least 22 men have been charged in a grand jury indictment. DeKalb County Prosecuting Attorney Erik Tate and Assistant Attorney General Tony Brown, who was appointed by Gov. Mike Parson to assist on the case, called for a grand jury after gathering evidence for more than a year.
“We get Department of Corrections cases all the time, but whenever there’s more than one person involved, there’s a lot more that you have to kind of investigate to make sure you got the right person charged,” Tate said.
Through the cooperation of the Missouri Department of Corrections, Tate, Brown and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt were able to present charges of destruction of Department of Corrections property, violence to other inmates and tampering with a motor vehicle to a grand jury.
“Department of Corrections employees worked several hundreds of man hours and analyzed thousands of hours of video to identify each individual defendant and the illegal acts committed by them,” a release from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office said.
The jury returned the charges that were presented against the men who are believed to have been involved in the riot that led to a four-month lockdown at Crossroads Correctional Facility.
That prison has since been consolidated with Western Missouri Correctional Center, and according to Karen Pojman, a corrections spokeswoman, the men believed to be involved still are incarcerated.
“The consolidation of Crossroads Correctional Center with Western Missouri Correctional Center was completed July 12,” Pojmann said. “There are no offenders housed at Crossroads now, though we do have a few staff there to handle maintenance of the facility, the power plant and the Missouri Vocational Enterprises factory there.”
Pojmann also said that no employees were harmed during the riot and some employees were honored by the department for their part in getting staff members to safety.