Douglas Keck

Douglas Keck

Contributor at The Times Herald

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410 Markley St, Norristown, Pennsylvania, United States
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(610) 272-2500

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Douglas Keck
WEST CHESTER >> What turned Douglas Keck from a hard-working, honest, straightforward family man with a spotless record into an integral part of a criminal conspiracy to bring hard drugs like heroin into the confines of the Chester County Prison? How did he come to work hand in hand with a convicted criminal to smuggle the drugs into the prison, where they would then be given to inmates an act that on its face put others at risk and, in the eyes of the judge who sentenced Keck Wednesday in Common Pleas Court betrayed his fellow corrections officers? If Judge Anthony Sarcione was looking for answers before handing down his sentence of three to seven years in a state prison for Keck, he did not get them. I simply dont understand why you did this, said Sarcione, who called the conspiracy with inmates to bring heroin and prescription drugs into the Pocopson facility over a two-month period in February and March of 2015, shortly after Keck had taken a job as a corrections officer there. I cant give you an answer, said Keck, 45, of North Coventry, who had listened as friends, family, and co-workers told Sarcione of his deep devotion to his wife and children and his good character. According to the complaint filed last April by Chester County Detectives, and the description given by Deputy District Attorney Carlos Barraza at Wednesdays proceeding, Keck was at the top of the pyramid in the operation that transferred the drugs from people who would buy them outside the prison walls to inmates housed on the prisons H Block. Keck dealt primarily with inmate Ray Gibase of Brookhaven, who had arranged the scheme with fellow inmates. Sarcione sentenced Keck to two to four years on four counts of contraband, a crime that calls for a two-year minimum mandatory sentence for people in positions such as corrections officers. Because of sentencing laws, Keck can be made eligible by state corrections authorities after serving 27 months behind bars. Keck was led from the courtroom in handcuffs as his wife, the mother of their two children, watched from the front row of the audience. Barraza, who is the lead prosecutor in the case, asked Sarcione to sentence Keck to four to eight years in prison, just slightly less than the 4 1/2 to nine years that Sarcione sentenced Gibase to last year. But Barraza said that Keck deserved more than simply the minimum in the case because of his position as a corrections officer, meant to be in charge of protecting the inmates housed at the prison. Mr. Keck had a responsibility, not only to his fellow corrections officers but to those he was supposed to look out for. He has a higher standard of care than the average individual. The veteran prosecutor also took issue with those who spoke on Kecks behalf that called his conduct a mistake that he should not be punished for with jail time. He said Keck had not done something as understandable as accidentally mislaying his car keys. Rather, he committed a crime, which is different. Keck was among eight people involved in the conspiracy who were arrested by Chester County Detectives in April. I believe there was some sophistication to this crime with you at the top of the pyramid, the judge told Keck.

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