Wednesday, April 24, 2013

13 Officers Indicted

13 Officers Indicted, Seven inmates, 13 officers, and five others were indicted for smuggling drugs, cellphones, and other items into the Baltimore jail.

Prosecutors have charged 25 people, including 13 correctional officers and prisoners, for taking part in a drug- and contraband-smuggling scheme in Baltimore’s main jail...REPORTED...theepochtimes.

The officers and inmates were accused of running operations for the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF), a prison gang that was started decades ago in California’s San Quentin State Prison.

“Correctional officers were in bed with BGF inmates, in violation of the first principle of prison management,” said U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, according to WBAL-TV. “Preventing prison corruption requires intensive screening at prison entrances and punishment for employees who consort with inmates or bring cellphones and drugs into correctional facilities.”

An affidavit obtained by CBS Baltimore said that officers helped inmates get prescription pills, marijuana, cellphones, and cigarettes into the facility. The inmates would then sell the items to others for a profit.

“This case is insidious. This case is extremely serious,” Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein told WBAL.

The alleged leader of the operation was Tavon White, an inmate who reportedly made $16,000 a month from selling the contraband.

Four corrections officers, Jennifer Owens, Katera Stevenson, Chania Brooks, and Tiffany Linder, also were reportedly impregnated by White while he was in jail.

Documents said that Owens had the word “Tavon” tattooed on her neck and Stevenson had it tattooed on her wrist.

FBI agent Stephen Vogt said White “effectively raised the BGF flag over the Baltimore City Detention Center,” and the indictment brings that flag down.

The gang was divided into “bubble regimes,” some of which had special functions such as collecting dues. Members were subjected to a code of conduct and sanctioned for breaking the rules through fines, beatings, stabbings and murder, prosecutors added.

BGF has become the dominant gang at the prison complex, where members used the contraband cellphones to arrange drug smuggling and sexual encounters as well as to warn of investigations and order assaults and murders, according to the court documents.

One of the 25 charged in the scheme died April 1, one day before the indictment was returned, prosecutors said.

Authorities said imprisoned gang members paid for items, including luxury cars for the corrupt officers, by texting the 14-digit PIN numbers of reloadable prepaid credit cards. The correctional officers were able to avoid contraband screenings by using entrances other than the main entrance where employees are screened, the indictment said.

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