February 9, 2015 / 10:38 PM / 3 years ago

Gang leader who ran drugs from Baltimore jail sentenced to 12 years

(Reuters) - A Baltimore gang leader who prosecutors say dealt drugs and impregnated four guards while in jail was sentenced by a federal judge on Monday to 12 years in prison on a racketeering charge.

Tavon White, 37, the head of the Black Guerrilla Family, drew national attention when the scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center broke almost three years ago.

Federal prosecutors say White was kingpin of a ring that smuggled contraband into the jail, including cellphones, tobacco and drugs, by using correctional officers.

White, who was held in pretrial detention from 2009 to 2013, admitted to impregnating four guards during his time in the jail, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

White was sentenced to 12 years by U.S. District Judge Ellen Hollander after pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy. The prison term will be followed by three years of supervised release, the statement said.

In connection with the federal plea, White also pleaded guilty to a state charge of attempted murder, for which he was previously sentenced to 20 years. The state sentence will be served concurrently with the federal one, the statement said.

The Black Guerrilla Family has been the dominant gang at the Baltimore City Detention Center and other jails as well.

Forty of the 44 defendants charged in the racketeering conspiracy have been convicted, including 24 corrections officers, the statement said.

Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney

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