Over a dozen state correctional officers in Maryland have been charged with serious corruption. The officers are accused of helping inmates run a gang that allowed for drug trafficking and money laundering, all while behind bars. The thirteen female prison guards were charged by the US Attorney’s Office in federal court. They’ve been accused of smuggling cell phones, prescription pills and other contraband into the prison.
“The inmates literally took over ‘the asylum,’ and the detention centers became safe havens for BGF,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt said about the indictments.
The alleged gang leader, Tavon White, was the center of attention during the investigation. Police say that he was sleeping with at least four of the prison guards at the same time, fathering five kids since he was incarcerated in 2009. White seemed to feel that the jail belonged to him, and that anyone who disagreed with him would be severely punished.
“This is my jail. You understand that? I’m dead serious. I make every final call in this jail,” he allegedly said during one phone call.
The indictment also lists seven inmates as co-conspirators, shining a light on a highly-organized criminal enterprise. During one call, White talked about how he earned just $16,000 during a slow month. Female guards were recruited by inmates to smuggle goods into the prison and pick up payments.
Gary D. Maynard, head of prisons in Maryland, took responsibility for what happened.
“It’s totally on me. I don’t make any excuses,” he said. “It’s absolutely my responsibility.”
Read more: Your Black World