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May 19, 2013
In regard to Tavon White's lifestyle ("Alleged gang leader in poor jail conditions, his lawyer says," May 15), his attorney says Mr. White can confer with him for only an hour and only through a glass screen. In addition to that unspeakable atrocity, he only has in his possession a jump suit, one pair of underwear, shower sandals and a sheet for his bed. Aw, my heart bleeds for the worthless thug. Katherine Ambrose, Kingsville
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NEWS
By Jessica Anderson and The Baltimore Sun | September 23, 2014
A Maryland Shock Trauma Center technician was waiting for a bus home after work Sunday night when he was "used as a human shield" and killed during a gang shooting, Baltimore police said. Police said Tuesday that they have arrested two members of the Black Guerrilla Family in the death of Brandon Finney, a 25-year-old father who was saving up for his first car. The intended target - a Bloods gang member, Christopher Camphor, 20 - was also killed in the attack, police said. Finney's death drew dozens - some who barely knew him - for a vigil Tuesday night at the bus stop where he died at Saratoga and North Paca streets.
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NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | November 8, 2013
A handcuffed man escaped police custody during raids connected to Thursday's massive takedown of suspected Black Guerrilla Family gang members, police confirmed Friday. The suspect - who police identified as Tavon Lee, 23 - was not among the 48 people charged by prosecutors in the gang case, but was being sought by investigators and had been placed into custody during a raid in the 400 block of Pittman Pl. in Greenmount West, officials said. “Somehow he was able to elude police and fled the location,” said Sgt. Sarah Connolly.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell and The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2014
A Baltimore judge this week ruled to allow city prosecutors to withhold identifying witness information from defendants in the sweeping case against alleged members of the Black Guerrilla Family gang. Judge Sylvester B. Cox on Tuesday granted a protective order, requested by the state's attorney's office, on any materials that could expose witnesses to harm or intimidation, after hearing a detective describe the fears witnesses had about cooperating with the investigation. Forty-eight suspects accused of being members of the BGF gang, which operated a violent, widespread drug trade in the city and corrupted the Baltimore City Detention Center, were indicted last November.
NEWS
By Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | April 25, 2013
Allegations that a cabal of Black Guerrilla Family gang members effectively took over the Baltimore City Detention Center have prompted a rare out-of-session legislative hearing on the state's prison system. The House Judiciary Committee scheduled a May 8 public inquiry into the matter, according to committee members and staff.  The House Appropriations Committee, which oversees funding for the prison system, has been invited to attend the 1 p.m. meeting.  A federal indictment unsealed Tuesday alleged the BGF gang, under the leadership of inmate Tavon White, established a lucrative smuggling operation that involved corrupt female corrections officers.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | March 27, 2014
Police have charged a 27-year-old Baltimore man with the shooting of three people - one of whom died - in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, and allege in court documents that he is a member of the Black Guerrilla Family.  Laser Womack, 27 of the 2700 block of Round Rd., is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Johniese Sheppard, 21, as well as two counts of attempted first-degree murder for shooting and wounding two others.  Detective Raymond...
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | May 8, 2013
Months before a federal indictment detailed allegations of corruption at the Baltimore City Detention Center, the smuggling and sexual improprieties at the core of that case had already been outlined in an inmate's lawsuit. Calvin Hemphill, in a handwritten civil complaint filed in federal court in July, alleged that fellow inmate Tavon White was a gang leader who held a startling degree of jailhouse power. Cellphones - illegal in the jail - were readily available to White, he held control over the jail's "working man" program, and he was able to come and go from his cell as he pleased, according to the court papers.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2014
The shooting death of 12-year-old Sean Johnson as he watched basketball on his porch in 2011 stemmed from the Black Guerrilla Family gang wanting to "send a message" in his East Baltimore neighborhood after the killing of a member, prosecutors said Friday. At a pretrial hearing in Baltimore Circuit Court, prosecutors for the first time presented their theory that the killing was related to gang retaliation. Danyae Robinson, 31, and Derrick Brown, 20, face charges that include first-degree murder in the shooting, which also wounded three teenagers gathered on the porch.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2014
It's almost a year since federal authorities announced that Tavon White and the Black Guerrilla Family gang had corrupted the Baltimore City Detention Center from the inside out, and this week's New Yorker magazine has an expansive look at the case. Staff writer Jeffrey Toobin casts a close eye over the sexual dynamics in the jail, pointing to misogynistic ideas espoused by the BGF's founder in the 1960s, and repeated up by former Maryland gang leader Eric Brown. George Jackson, who founded the BGF in a California prison, was steeped in many of the left wing ideas popular in the 1960s, but he roundly rejected calls for women's rights and espoused polygamy as a way to care for women who would otherwise go unmarried, according to Toobin.
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | November 22, 2013
Baltimore police are asking for the public's assistance in finding one of 48 alleged members of the Black Guerrilla Family gang indicted earlier this month. Gerald Johnson, 31, is alleged to be a leader of the gang who authorized the murders of Gregory Rochester in 2007 and Moses Malone in May because he believed the men were cooperating with police. Johnson was unable to be found by police when they executed raids to arrest the suspected gang members two weeks ago. Police said he frequents the Greenmount Avenue corridor and that his last known address is in the 1500 block of Madison Ave., in the Madison Park neighborhood.
NEWS
By Hal Riedl | July 20, 2014
Back when Robert Ehrlich was governor of Maryland, I was interviewing men newly committed to state prison and suspected of gang affiliations. After years in denial, Maryland was just beginning to realize that gangs were very active behind the walls. Among them was a "new" incarnation of BGF (Black Guerrilla Family) that had taken its name from, but was not otherwise beholden to, the BGF that dated from the 1960s. I got to know Lt. Santiago Morales, an astute gang investigator at Baltimore City Detention Center, and we shared information.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | July 8, 2014
A Baltimore jury failed to reach a verdict Tuesday in a high-profile murder case, leading a city judge to declare a mistrial in city prosecutors' first battle with what they say is a murderous group within the Black Guerrilla Family gang. A juror who declined to give her name said a majority on the panel had been leaning toward acquitting David Hunter, an alleged BGF member who was charged with murder in the broad-daylight killing of heroin dealer Henry Mills on Greenmount Avenue three years ago. At its heart, Hunter's case was a simple matter: The jury was asked to weigh the credibility of eyewitnesses to Mills' June 2011 death.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | July 7, 2014
Management at the Baltimore jail held "town hall meetings" with Black Guerrilla Family gang members to get tips on how to better operate the institution, a former corrections officer told the FBI as part of a wide-ranging corruption investigation. The allegation, contained in recently filed court documents, is the latest portrayal of the gang's extensive influence at the jail before federal authorities stepped in last year. Since then, 14 corrections officers and 10 gang members have pleaded guilty.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | May 31, 2014
A surveillance camera near the East Baltimore murder scene spied a group from the Black Guerrilla Family gathered to congratulate a gang member on a job well done - a long-time rival was dead and a prior killing avenged. Henry Mills had been a BGF target since the gang started to take over the drug trade along a stretch of Greenmount Avenue years before, and he was suspected of murdering a senior BGF figure, authorities say. By 2011 Mills' insistence on running a freelance heroin operation on gang territory was too much to tolerate.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | May 31, 2014
It wasn't easy to get suspected Black Guerrilla Family leader Gerald Johnson on the phone, investigators learned as they tried to build a case against him last year. Rather than answer calls himself, he would often use a female associate to screen his conversations. The conversations would often play out like this one summarized in court documents: "Where Geezy at?" a suspected gang member asked, using Johnson's nickname. After a woman replied, he continued, "Put him on the phone.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson and By Jessica Anderson | May 10, 2014
A man fatally shot by FBI agents outside an Owings Mills Sam's Club last month was a known Black Guerrilla Family gang member under surveillance in a federal narcotics investigation, according to a Baltimore County police report. FBI agents were secretly watching Jameel Kareem Ofurum Harrison, 34, who had attempted to buy illegal drugs when the agents tried to stop his car on April 11 on Reisterstown Road, the report says. Authorities from the FBI and Baltimore County police have said little about the afternoon shooting and have not explained what led the agents to open fire on the car. The police report adds some details about why police were targeting Harrison but does not explain the shooting.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | November 9, 2013
For their joint news conference on Thursday, the police commissioner and state's attorney of Baltimore chose Mund Park on Greenmount Avenue, where, they said, members of the Black Guerrilla Family and their associates held regular meetings. That moment was fraught with symbolism — top cop Anthony Batts, in uniform, and top prosecutor Gregg Bernstein, in a gray suit, reclaiming a public park from a violent gang. But the symbolism grows larger when you consider the place — Greenmount Avenue, between North Avenue and 25th Street — in the context of the long struggles of Baltimore: the riots of 1968, the white flight, the concentration of poverty, the rise in crime, the generally sad reputation of the area, and the long wait for transformative help.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | October 29, 2013
A Baltimore jail corrections officer who had a sexual relationship with two incarcerated gang members pleaded guilty Tuesday to her role in a major smuggling network at the facility. Kimberly Dennis, 26, is the seventh officer to plead guilty in the case, in which federal authorities alleged that the Black Guerrilla Family gang ran a sophisticated operation smuggling drugs, tobacco and cell phones in the Baltimore City Detention Center. Dennis had sexual relationships with alleged gang member Derius Duncan and another inmate who has not been charged in the case.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | April 22, 2014
A corrections officer at the Baltimore City Detention Center received a 30-month prison term Tuesday for her role in a wide-ranging drug smuggling plot hatched by members of the Black Guerrilla Family gang. Katrina Laprade, 32, pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge in November and was sentenced the day before the anniversary of the initial indictment in the case being unsealed. Federal investigators found that inmates and the corrections officers worked together to smuggle drugs and cell phones into the downtown Baltimore jail.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2014
It's almost a year since federal authorities announced that Tavon White and the Black Guerrilla Family gang had corrupted the Baltimore City Detention Center from the inside out, and this week's New Yorker magazine has an expansive look at the case. Staff writer Jeffrey Toobin casts a close eye over the sexual dynamics in the jail, pointing to misogynistic ideas espoused by the BGF's founder in the 1960s, and repeated up by former Maryland gang leader Eric Brown. George Jackson, who founded the BGF in a California prison, was steeped in many of the left wing ideas popular in the 1960s, but he roundly rejected calls for women's rights and espoused polygamy as a way to care for women who would otherwise go unmarried, according to Toobin.
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