Maryland Prison Officials Asked For Federal Help With Corruption, Gang

Source: Ann E. MarimowPeter Hermann and Annys Shin / The Washington Post

Maryland state prison officials said Wednesday that they approached federal investigators more than a year ago seeking help uncovering corruption and gang activity they suspected was going on in a jail.

As recently as three months ago, Maryland prison chief Gary D. Maynard said, his staff wanted to remove an alleged gang leader, Tavon White, from the Baltimore City Detention Center. But Maynard said his department agreed to keep White in place so as not to disrupt an FBI investigation.
“It was a calculated risk to leave him there so they could finish their investigation and move forward,” Maynard said in an interview Wednesday. “We knew that with him there, we could get more corrections staff who were involved with him and that we might be able to prosecute more people.”

The explanation came a day after a far-reaching prison corruption investigation became public, accusing more than a dozen Maryland corrections officers of helping a prison gang run a drug-trafficking operation from behind bars. Maynard appeared to be taking credit for helping launch the FBI investigation, but he offered little additional detail about what else state officials were doing — besides wanting to remove White from the facility — to end the corruption or make changes to prevent it from recurring.

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