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Maryland prison guards helped gangs smuggle drugs, fathered inmate's children

Maryland prison guards helped gangs smuggle drugs, fathered inmate's children
Thirteen female Maryland prison guards have been indicted on charges that they assisted a powerful prison gang with a money-laundering and drug-trafficking scheme while the gang leaders sat behind bars.

The guards were charged by the Maryland US Attorney’s Office after the indictment was unsealed in federal court on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post. The guards are accused of smuggling cell phones, prescription pills and other contraband into Baltimore City Detention Center at the behest of Tavon White, the alleged leader of the Black Guerilla Family gang, or BGF. 

White and six other inmates as well as five “outside suppliers” were also indicted. Prosecutors claimed White had sexual relations with at least four of the guards and had fathered five children with them since he was incarcerated in 2009 after an attempted murder conviction. 

Correctional officers were in bed with BGF inmates, in violation of the first principle of prison management,” US Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein told reporters. “Preventing prison corruption requires intensive screening at prison entrances and punishment for employees who consort with inmates or bring cell phones and drugs into correctional facilities.” 

Two of the accused guards had tattoos reading “Tavon” and at least four were given gifts including luxury cars and diamond rings. Marijuana, Oxycodone, Xanax, Klonopin and Vicodin were among the drugs brought into the prison, reported Baltimore CBS affiliate WJZ. 

Prosecutors also included a transcript of a wiretapped phone call from January 5, 2013, in which White brags of making roughly $16,000 from black market activities in the prison in a month, among other implicating details. 

This is my jail. You understand that? I’m dead serious,” White is quoted as saying in the documents. “I make every final call in this jail and nothing go past me, everything come to me. Any of my brothers that deal with anybody, it’s gonna come to me…”

State Sen. Joseph M. Getty said the charges are a “pretty harsh indictment” of the prison policies set forth by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. 

This is frightening to us as legislators, the level of collusion that has existed between the correction officers and inmates,” Getty said. 

Since the gang’s inception at the San Quentin California state prison in 1966 the Black Guerilla Family has spread throughout the US correctional system while engaging in homicide, drug trafficking, racketeering and other offenses. The BGF’s influence has been particularly evident in Baltimore, where a 2009 indictment claimed that one gangster dined on shrimp and expensive vodka from his prison cell.