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13 female guards carried out commands from criminals - four becoming pregnant from same prisoner

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 24th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The indictment boggles the mind. Thirteen female prison guards fell under the persuasive sway of a drug-trafficking gang behind bars, and literally did their bidding. In a most vivid example of the "lunatics taking over the asylum," the guards smuggled all manner of contraband into the Maryland state prison for inmates, including money for luxury cars. Four guards become pregnant from the same prisoner, and two had the prisoner's name tattooed on their bodies.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - Federal prosecutors said say that the 13 female corrections officers essentially handed over control of a Baltimore jail to gang leaders. The officers have since been charged in a federal racketeering indictment.

Leaders of the Black Guerilla Family ran their criminal enterprise in jail by having the guards smuggle cell phones, prescription pills and other contraband in their underwear, shoes and hair. One gang leader allegedly used proceeds to buy luxury cars, including a Mercedes-Benz and a BMW, which he allowed some of the officers to drive.

"The inmates literally took over 'the asylum,' and the detention centers became safe havens for BGF," FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt said.

The incident shines a harsh spotlight on the enduring power of gangs in jails and prisons. Prosecutors voiced criticism of Maryland's facilities in Baltimore, with procedures and personnel that were "completely inadequate to prevent smuggling" and lacked "effective punishment."

The Black Guerilla Family made their presence widely known in Maryland's prison system in the 1990s. The gang is involved in narcotics trafficking, robbery, assault and homicides. The BGF had become the dominant gang at the Baltimore City Detention Center since 2006.

Gary D. Maynard, head of the Maryland agency that oversees the prisons, said he takes the blame. "It's totally on me. I don't make any excuses," Maynard said, who was appointed by Gov. Martin O'Malley in 2007, when the prison system was experiencing a spate of inmate violence and corrections officers' complaints of staffing shortages.

"We will move up the chain of command, and people will be held accountable." A spokesman says that all of the officers have been suspended without pay and that the department will recommend that they be fired.


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