Federal prosecutors say 13 female correctional officers, seven inmates and five others with gang ties have been charged with plotting to smuggle drugs, cellphones and other contraband into the Baltimore jail and other corrections facilities.
An indictment unsealed Tuesday said the ring also involved sex between inmates and guards that led to four of the officers becoming pregnant by Tavon White, leader of a jailhouse gang called the Black Guerrilla Family. He is held at the Baltimore City Detention Center, awaiting trial on a charge of attempted murder.
With the help of more than a dozen guards, it's alleged White made more than $15,000 a month selling drugs and contraband and even boasted in a taped phone call "this is my jail."
The indictment claims the gang ran the scheme from inside the detention center and charges gang members and corrections officers with conspiracy, drug possession and distribution and money laundering.
"There were at least 13 correctional officers who were actively participating in furthering the activities of the BGF gang," explained U.S. Attorney Rod Rosentstein. "Four of these correctional officers were pregnant with Tavon White's children. Two of them allegedly had Tavon's name tattooed on their bodies. One on the neck, one on the wrist."
The guards are accused of helping leaders of the Black Guerrilla Family run a board ranging criminal enterprise, both in the big house an on the streets of Baltimore. In return, the guards got affection and even luxury cars from White and others.
For Nicole Ragin, who was bailing out a friend Wednesday, it's no surprise.
"...it's something I've heard about pretty frequently," she said.
According to the indictment, the correctional officers were smuggling the contraband into the jail through the front door. They hid the contraband in their shoes, because for some reason, shoes weren't checked. Procedures are now being changed.
A telephone call seeking comment from White's attorney was not immediately returned Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.