BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City Police continue to hunt down gang members to get them off the street. Perhaps the most dangerous gang, the Black Guerrilla Family was so powerful, its leader was literally calling the shots from behind bars.
Vic Carter spoke with a former prison official who reveals the inside story of sex and smuggling at the Baltimore City Detention Center.
The Baltimore City Detention Center, more than a century old, is just blocks from downtown. Thousands of murderers, rapists and other violent prisoners, are locked up there–many for years.
But few people knew the nation’s most notorious gang, the Black Guerrilla Family, was running an elaborate sex and smuggling ring behind the prison’s walls.
“It was just a way of life inside the facility,” said former security chief Shavella Miles.
The undisputed leader was convicted murderer Tavon White. Federal wiretaps record him proclaiming, “This is my jail. My word is law.”
“[BGF is known for] drugs and violence,” Miles said.
In an exclusive interview with WJZ, Miles–the prison’s former security chief and third in command–sheds light on the notorious lockup. A federal indictment reveals inmates having sex with guards. BGF leader Tavon White got four of them pregnant; one even had his name tattooed on her neck.
“It was so many of them that were involved so if you have another correctional officer looking out for you and that correctional officer is on a key post and I have to get through that key post to actually catch you, then it’s going to be a slow movement in order to get that gate open,” Miles said.
Miles believes there weren’t private locations involved.
“I’m quite sure they were probably in the cells,” she said.
White also devised a sophisticated smuggling scheme. Guards brought in drugs and cell phones that the BGF sold to other inmates. White paid them off with big profits from his illegal enterprise.
“Now it’s coming in through staff’s body orifices,” Miles said.
Miles says that’s because guards are not subjected to the high-tech scanning that detects it in prisoners.
“They do not and will not under the secretary allow officers or employees to be scanned on this device,” she said.
Miles insists every time she tried to take control back from the BGF, her bosses stopped her because of the federal investigation. After she failed a polygraph test ordered by the state, Miles was the only manager who got fired–but she is fighting back.
“All of these people were there. I come in for one year and I’m the one that takes the blame?” she said. “It definitely wasn’t my fault.”
The corrections division says it recently increased random searches of staff and inmates and is spending millions on new technology to stop smuggling. The state says it’s making progress.
What does the top man have to say about this? For the first time, Corrections Division Secretary Gary Maynard sits down for a one-on-one interview. You’ll hear what he has to say later this week.
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