‘This is my jail,’ gang chief inside Baltimore detention center declared
BALTIMORE — Gang leaders ruled the Baltimore City Detention Center, using smuggled cellphones to direct crimes on the streets outside, dealing drugs and getting four guards pregnant, a prosecutor said Wednesday at the opening of a major corruption trial involving dozens of officers and inmates.
Prosecutor Robert Harding said corrupt guards allowed the state-run jail to become the undisputed turf of the Black Guerilla Family. The gang is led locally by Tayvon “Bulldog” White.
White was indicted last year — along with 16 other inmates and 27 correctional officers — but agreed to cooperate. He is expected to testify against the others.
The indictment details how compliant guards helped BGF members smuggle drugs and cellphones — crucial for conducting outside business — into correctional facilities.
Just who was boss in the Baltimore jail became evident in a call that “Bulldog” made to a friend in January 2013, court papers show.
“This is my jail. You understand that,” White was recorded as saying. “I make every final call in this jail … everything come to me.”
“Whatever I say is law,” White said in another call a month later. “I am the law.”
The defendants were charged with crimes including conspiracy, drug distribution and money laundering. Nearly all accepted plea deals.
The latest trial involves two inmates, five guards and another state employee.
Harding described a jail plagued with corruption, where criminals operated with impunity. Four of the five officers on trial had sex with gang members.
“There was no raising of the BGF flag on the guard tower, but a gradual assumption of an incredible amount of power by the prison gang,” Harding said. “They operated an underground economy in the prison for years.”
As a result, Maryland’s prisons chief resigned and several new laws strengthened security and oversight.
“People who were supposed to be protecting the public interest but instead opted to form an alliance with an exceedingly violent gang,” he said.