A Baltimore prisoner is said to have fathered five children with four different corrections officers while incarcerated, according to a recently unsealed federal racketeering indictment.
In addition, the Washington Post reports that 13 female corrections officers assisted imprisoned gang members in criminal enterprises including the trafficking of drugs, witness intimidation and money laundering. Guards also tipped off prisoners about upcoming cell searches.
Tavon White, allegedly of the Black Guerrilla Family gang, reportedly bragged about his position of power within the jail. In an intercepted phone call detailed in the indictment, White is alleged to have said, "I hold the highest seat you can get. So regardless of what anybody say, whatever I say is law. Like I am the law... My word is law..., so if I told any mother-******* body they had to do this, hit a police, do this, kill a mother-******, do anything, it got to get done. Period."
The indictment is as disturbing as it is astounding. In it, prosecutors detail the various sexual relationships White had with different prison guards. Two of the women had the name "Tavon" tattooed on their bodies (one woman got the tattoo on her neck, the other on her wrist). These sexual relations "cemented the business ties and the association of the corrections officers with the enterprise," prosecutors wrote in the indictment. The guards are said to have smuggled in cellphones and drugs to the prisoners.
One prison guard was given a diamond ring by a gang leader. Others were provided with cars to drive (including two Mercedes Benzes, a BMW and an Acura). Two of those cars were purchased by a prisoner using proceeds from the illegal enterprise, according to the indictment.
All told, 25 people were charged with racketeering and drug offenses. They include inmates, guards, and outside suppliers. The Washington Post reports that 20 of them were also charged in a money-laundering conspiracy. Defendants will face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years on the racketeering and drug charges.
"We are committed to ensuring that this activity does not happen again," said Baltimore State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein in a press conference.
Gary D. Maynard, Maryland secretary of Public Safety & Correctional Services, said, "It becomes embarrassing for me when we expose ourselves and we participate in an investigation that’s going to show what’s going on in our jails that I am not proud of."