This is a case right out the HBO show “The Wire”; prison guards and drug dealers. Authorities were able to listen in on conversations of smuggled prison cell phones.
By Justin Fenton
A seven-month investigation that included wiretaps on contraband prison cell phones led to the indictment of 24 people, including four state prison officers, who authorities believe were part of a prison gang that extorted protection money from other inmates, directed drug distribution and arranged attacks on witnesses.
Federal and local law enforcement officials said the suspects are affiliated with the Black Guerilla Family, and placed “hits” on suspected informants and discussed robberies of drug dealers and assaults on rival gang members. Authorities say the investigation helped provide real-time intelligence to the Department of Corrections.
Among those charged was Eric Brown, the alleged leader of the BGF in Maryland, and Tomeka Harris, the operator of the Northeast Baltimore establishment Club 410 that was shut down by police last month. Harris had scoffed at allegations at a hearing that the club was associated with the gang, and testified that the club had a positive impact on the community.
On Monday afternoon, police say they broke up a Black Guerilla Family gang meeting in Druid Hill Park in which 100 to 200 people had gathered. Court documents show that police recovered gang handbooks and a list of members who had violated gang rules.
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