By Van Smith
Published by City Paper, June 4, 2013
The April 23 unsealing of a federal indictment of 25 people, including 13 Maryland correctional officers (COs), alleged to have participated in a racketeering conspiracy centered around the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF) prison gang, was as much a renewed impeachment of the integrity of Maryland’s prison system, which has been repeatedly exposed for serious corruption problems, as it was of the defendants’ alleged conduct. Nonetheless, it is the defendants who are on the dock, not the bureaucracy.
Here’s a run-down of who they are and what they’re alleged to have done, based on court records, other public documents, and information from the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office (MD-USAO). The co-defendants are listed in the same order in which their names appear in the indictment, and the ages given are those provided by the MD-USAO – which today, after City Paper raised questions about the accuracy of ages given for some co-defendants, said it had inaccurately reported the ages of two of the defendants, as clarified below.
(Note: All “notable quotes” are republished exactly as transcribed in the affidavit)
Tavon White, aka “Bulldog” and “Tay,” 36-year-old inmate, of Baltimore
As the BGF’s leader at the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC), who held the title of “Bushman” within the larger BGF hierarchy in Maryland and nationwide, White allegedly became the de facto ruler of everything that happened there. Since he first arrived as an inmate in 2009, he is said to have fathered at least five children by at least four different COs who aided the conspiracy. His cousin and co-defendant, Tyesha Mayo, is accused of having helped supply drugs and launder money for the BGF, and his half-brother and co-defendant, Ralph Timmons, Jr., who allegedly helped set up smuggling operations and financial transactions for the BGF, was killed in a robbery hours before the grand jury handed down the sealed indictment on Apr. 2. In the FBI-led investigation, calls on two of White’s phones – “Target Telephone 6” and “Target Telephone 11” – were intercepted. Among the trove of information the wiretap turned up about White was that he made so much money while running the prison – approximately $16,000, in a slow month – that he shoveled proceeds into buying luxury cars for his harem of COs to use.
Notable quote: “Like, I am the law. My word is law. So if I told any mother-fucking body they had to do this, hit a police, do this, kill a mother-fucker, anything, it got to get done. Period.”
Antonia Allison, 27-year-old correctional officer, of Baltimore
Allison is accused of working with another co-defendant CO, Katera Stevenson, to smuggle prescription pills and marijuana for Tavon White. Her West Baltimore residence at 3047 Arunah Ave. was raided just before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.City Paper in 2009 and 2010 dedicated much coverage to a federal lawsuit filed against Allison by an inmate who accused her of facilitating a brutal, gang-related attack on him, because the case exposed documentation of unaddressed gang-related corruption among COs. The following articles reported developments in the case against Allison, which ended up in 2010 with a settlement agreed to by plaintiff Tashma McFadden: “Ganging Up,” Mobtown Beat, Oct. 21, 2009; “A Big No-No,” Mobtown Beat, Nov. 4, 2009; “Inside Job,” Feature, May 12, 2010; and “The Big Hurt,” Mobtown Beat, Aug. 4, 2010.
Notable quote: “Alright, well do those first, pills [presciption pills] and the strips [Suboxone strips], they the easiest, get them out the way. You know they gonna sell fast.”
Jamar Anderson, aka “Hammer” and “Hamma Head,” 23-year-old inmate (MD-USAO inaccurately reported he was 26), of Baltimore
Anderson’s girlfriend, co-defendant Teshawn Pinder, allegedly conspired with CO Jasmin Jones, another co-defendant, to smuggle pot into prison on Anderson’s behalf. Anderson also allegedly conspired with CO Jasmine Thornton – a paramour, according to a wiretapped conversation between White and CO Jennifer Owens, another co-defendant, in which Anderson is reported to have said, “we did it eight times last night” – to smuggle cellphones and launder money. Anderson was forewarned of impending prison-cell searches when White relayed a message about them he received from CO Tiffany Linder, another co-defendant.Anderson was recently convicted of murder in the double-shooting that killed 17-year-old John Person in 2008. According to City Paper‘s Murder Ink column, “at about 4 P.M. on Aug. 6, 2008, a woman saw Anderson, who was 18 at the time, committing a burglary in her apartment complex in the 2900 block of Garrison Boulevard and called the police. Anderson said he would come back and kill the woman for what she had done. Around midnight, Anderson came back and shot at her, firing 10 rounds from a semi-automatic gun. He missed the woman but hit her cousin, Person, in the back. Person died on Aug. 17, 2008.”
Ebonee Braswell, 26-year-old correctional officer, of Baltimore
An alleged smuggler, including of prescription pills, Braswell’s phone – “Target Telephone 8” – was tapped, and she was heard telling an unknown male that pills are worth much more in jail than they are on the streets. In November, she allegedly obtained an ounce of pot with the help of co-defendant CO Kimberly Dennis.
Notable quote: “Like, say, even if I buy 15’s [prescription pills] up here for $10, right? I could sell them in there for $25. You know what I’m saying? So you still make a $15 off of it. See, they would sell faster if I leave them in there with a nigger. But I don’t trust them niggers, so I take them in there every day myself. Get the money myself. You feel me? So that’s how I do it.”
Chania Brooks, 27-year-old correctional officer, of Baltimore
On Jan. 1, Brooks and White allegedly discussed how co-defendant Steven Loney had been attacked by another BGF member that day; Brooks witnessed the attack, but left her post to consult with White about what to do about it. She is one of 14 COs listed on prison-wall graffiti as willing to have oral sex for $150, and is one of at least four COs who has had sex and become pregnant by White. An alleged pill-smuggler, in Dec. 2012 Brooks filed assault charges in state court against CO Katera Stevenson, another co-defendant in the BGF case who White impregnated. Brooks’ Cockeysville residence, at 511 Lake Vista Circle, was raided shortly before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Notable quote: In a conversation with co-defendant CO Tiffany Linder about the baby Linder was having with Tavon White, Brooks said: “I don’t give a fuck about that baby. That’s y’all baby, not mine. We having one too. So what?”
Kimberly Dennis, 26-year-old correctional officer, of Baltimore
Dennis’ “Target Telephone 1” was tapped during the investigation, and in October 2012 she allegedly told co-defendant inmate Derious Duncan, with whom she coordinated smuggling runs, that she intended to make $2,000 that week from moving contraband into prison. Also in October, she allegedly called another CO to learn whether an internal investigator was at the prison entrance, so that she could avoid him. And in December, she allegedly explained to an unknown male that an inmate was stabbed by the BGF because the inmate was smuggling without paying the required 10-percent tax the BGF charges. Dennis also allegedly smuggled with inmate co-defendant Joseph Young. Her Gwynn Oak residence at 2231 Wheatley Dr. was raided shortly before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Notable quote: On Dec. 3, 2012, the day the inmate was stabbed for not paying the smuggling tax to the BGF, Dennis said to an unknown male: “Yeah, them niggas banged him. It was like six of them. Because when he first got over there he was catching or whatever. It was a, umm, issue ‘cause you know, like, whoever catch, you gotta pay a bill.”
Derius Duncan, 23-year-old inmate (MD-USAO inaccurately reported he was 26), of Baltimore
Duncan, who allegedly coordinated smuggling runs with co-defendant CO Kimberly Dennis, had cellphones and drugs stolen from him by other inmates, and, in retribution, White ordered the punishment of the suspected thieves. A BGF “floor boss,” co-defendant inmate Joseph Young, was directed by White to mete out the punishment, and in October, White ordered the beating of inmate David Warren, aka “Meshawn.” Co-defendant CO Jasmin Jones in November allegedly “stood guard outside a closet” so that Duncan and Dennis could have sex, according to court documents. Last summer, Duncan was charged in state court with murder, conspiracy, witness intimidation, and obstruction of justice, along with three other men – Keyon Beads, Clifford Butler, Jr., and David Johnson – after they allegedly attempted to bribe, and later killed, 55-year-old Ronald Givens, a potential state witness in a guns-and-drugs case against Duncan.
Jasmin Jones, aka “J.J.,” 24-year-old correctional officer, of Baltimore
Jones allegedly helped co-defendant inmate Jamar Anderson launder BGF proceeds by putting $500 onto a Money Pak card “that is used to load money onto Green Dot Visa cards.” She also allegedly picked up pot from Anderson’s girlfriend, Teshawn Pinder, to smuggle into prison for Anderson. Her West Baltimore residence, 401 Nottingham Rd., was raided shortly before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Taryn Kirkland, 23-year-old correctional officer, of Baltimore
One of 14 COs listed on prison-wall graffiti as willing to have oral sex for $150, Kirkland allegedly coordinated with co-defendant CO Katrina LaPrade to smuggle pot for co-defendant inmate Steven Loney, and coordinated with co-defendant Jennifer Owens to smuggle contraband for Tavon White. Her Woodlawn residence at 5 Greenbury Ct. was raided shortly before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Notable quote: “So them dogs ain’t shit,” she tells co-defendant inmate Steven Loney after co-defendant CO Katrina LaPrade manages to walk a lot of pot past the jail’s drug-sniffing dogs.
Katrina LaPrade, aka “Katrina Lyons,” 31-year-old correctional officer, of Baltimore
Allegedly by coordinating with co-defendant Taryn Kirkland, LaPrade managed to smuggle pot past the jail’s drug-sniffing dogs and get it to Steven Loney. Her residence near the West Coldspring Metro Station, 2821 Ridgewood Ave., was raided shortly before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Tiffany Linder, 27-year-old correctional officer, of Baltimore
In January, Linder allegedly did something of great service to Tavon White and his BGF comrades: she tipped him to a planned shakedown at the jail, during which cells would be searched for contraband and other signs of criminal activity. An alleged contraband smuggler, she is one of at least four co-defendant COs who had sex with and became pregnant by White. Her Severn residence, 1858 Eagle Court, was raided shortly before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Notable quote: “I just want to know what it is between us,” Linder told White, “and what are you going to do about the baby ‘cause I’m definitely keeping him. I don’t have time for games.”
Steven Loney, aka “Stevie,” 24-year-old inmate, of Baltimore
An allegedly active distributor of prison contraband, Loney relied on co-defendant CO Taryn Kirkland to manage and record Green Dot transactions involving Loney’s drug customers. On Jan. 1, Loney was attacked by another BGF member, and co-defendant CO Chania Brooks, who witnessed the incident, left her post to consult with Tavon White about what should be done about it. Loney’s phone, “Target Telephone 10,” was tapped from Jan. 10 to Jan. 30.
Notable quote: Loney tells Kirkland that co-defendant CO Katrina LaPrade is getting nervous because of all the smuggling LaPrade been doing, saying, “Man now she talking about too many people coming to her, she about to chill that’s why she changed her number. Folks keep calling her from all these different numbers. She don’t want to make her hot.”
Vivian Matthews, 25-year-old correctional officer, of Essex
Matthews declined requests to smuggle drugs for the BGF, but she did procure them – Xanax and Percocet pills, which she gave to others to arrange delivery into prison. She is one of 14 COs listed on prison-wall graffiti as willing to have oral sex for $150. A Gardenville residence associated with her, 4522 Hamilton Ave., was raided just before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Notable quote: Describing to Tavon White the drugs she has available, she says, “Man I just told you what I got. I got one hundred Xanax’s, ninety of them white and then the ten of them. They orange. They the footballs. No, all of them footballs. And I got twelve Percocets.”
Tyesha Mayo, 29-year-old outside supplier, of Baltimore
Tavon White’s cousin, Mayo allegedly helped him launder money with Green Dot pre-paid debit cards and she allegedly delivered pot to co-defendent Katera Stevenson to take to White. Her West Baltimore residence, at 1021 Pennsylvania Ave., was raided just before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Jermaine McFadden, aka “Maine,” 24-year-old inmate, of BaltimoreCo-defendant CO Katera Stevenson allegedly smuggled cellphones and drugs into prison for McFadden, who currently is facing drug charges in state court and was recently convicted for possessing contraband in a place of confinement.
Notable quote: “You say you going to bring that grass and shit today right?” he asks Stevenson, describing pot and other contraband. When Stevenson says yes, he gives her the details of the smuggling run: “Aight I am a have that nigga on the out for you. Not the one with the glasses but the other that work in the same kitchen.”
Jennifer Owens, aka “O” and “J.O.,” 31-year-old correctional officer, of Randallstown
Owens allegedly has two children fathered by co-defendant inmate Tavon White, has a “Tavon” tattoo on her neck, and is one of 14 COs listed on prison-wall graffiti as willing to have oral sex for $150. Her phone, “Target Cellphone 3,” was tapped from Oct. 12 to Dec. 8, 2012, and her Randallstown residence, at 3926 Noyes Circle, was raided shortly before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Notable Quote: “I understand you stressed out, cuz you locked up, ok, but I am too. You locked up, and I’m fucking pregnant again. Like really, who the fuck does that? Only my dumb ass do shit like that, for real. I can accept that I fucked up. I know I did, but I did that shit cuz I wanted to. I don’t regret it.”
Kenneth Parham, 23-year-old inmate, of Baltimore
Parham allegedly helped with the smuggling into prison of pot, prescription pills, and SIM cards for cellphones. He currently faces gun-and-drugs charges in state court, where he has a lengthy record of criminal convictions.
Teshawn Pinder, 24-year-old outside supplier, of Baltimore
Jamar Anderson’s girlfriend, who coordinated smuggling on Anderson’s behalf with co-defendant CO Jasmin Jones, Pinder faced pot-possession charges that were tabled by state prosecutors in early April. Her West Baltimore residence, at 2512 Edgecomb Circle North, was raided just before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Adrena Rice, 25-year-old correctional officer, of Baltimore
Rice’s alleged dealings with Tavon White, which included smuggling marijuana to him in BCDC, were complicated – White believed she stole an ounce off a package he received. Her Randallstown residence, 9 Mainview Ct., was raided just before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Notable Quote: “When I came back in the jail, I’m like, shit, I’m not going to stop making my money. You feel me? I seen what the fuck was going on, asked a few people, what was up and who was who, and what was what. I am just about my money. You hear me? I got to get it.”
Katera Stevenson, aka “KK,” 24-year-old correctional officer, of Baltimore
Stevenson, whose “Target Telephone 7” was tapped from Dec. 11, 2012, to Jan. 9, 2013, has “Tavon” tattooed on her wrist, in honor of the father of her child, co-defendant inmate Tavon White, for whom she allegedly smuggled prescription pills and pot into prison. She is accused of smuggling for co-defendant inmate Jermaine McFadden, who she told she would smuggle every day. She is one of at least four COs who had sex and was impregnated by White. One Jan. 10, she was arrested after trying to smuggle a vacuum-packed bag of pot into prison, and the case is scheduled for trial in May. Her Northeast Baltimore residence, at 5919 Chinquapin Parkway, was raided just before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Notable quote: Tavon White “think I’m one of the most crazy baby mother’s he has. He said he gonna pay my rent. He gonna pay my rent. 284 every month. That’s what he said.”
Tyrone Thompson, aka “Henry,” 36-year-old outside supplier, of Baltimore
Thompson allegedly delivered pills to co-defendant CO Jennifer Owens and co-defendant Ralph Timmons, Jr., on behalf of Tavon White. His West Baltimore residence, 2920 West Walbrook Ave., was raided just before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Jasmine Thornton, aka “J.T.,” 26-year-old CO, of Glen Burnie
Thornton’s phone, “Target Telephone 9,” was tapped from Jan. 10 to Feb. 8, 2013, and she is accused of smuggling contraband into prison for numerous inmates. In February, Tavon White and CO Jennifer Owens discussed Thornton having sex in jail with co-defendant inmate Jamar Anderson. Thornton was assigned to guard White’s tier, which meant that other co-defendant COs could easily deliver contraband directly to White. Her Glen Burnie residence, 336 Adams Ct., was raided shortly before the indictment was unsealed on April 23.
Notable quote: After Anderson’s girlfriend, Teshawn Pinder, was pulled over by police with pot in her car, Thornton, who witnessed the incident, reported to Anderson: “I was pulling in the, um, Royal Farms the police was behind her, so I called her like did they pull you over. Their lights wasn’t on and she like, ‘yea,’ and then they were just sitting there for a long ass time, so I went and got some gas and all that. Then somebody else came with a dog, and then they brung the dog to the car.”
Ralph Timmons, Jr., aka “Boosa,” 34-year-old outside supplier (deceased), of Baltimore
Timmons’ phone, “Target Telephone 2,” was tapped from Sept. 10 to Oct. 9, 2012, and from Dec. 11, 2012 to Jan. 9, 2013. Investigators say he facilitated criminal activities for his half-brother, co-defendant inmate Tavon White, by coordinating smuggling operations with co-defendant CO Jennifer Owens and handling financial transactions.The MD-USAO reports that Timmons was murdered during a robbery, hours before the indictment was handed down on April 2. City Paper’s Murder Ink column reported that at 9:20pm on April 1, “an 11-year-old boy ran to police patrolling near the 1900 block of Bentalou Street to lead them back to the house where he had been shot,” and responding officers found Timmons, the boy’s father, shot dead in the house. Two men – John Knox, 21, of the 4800 block of Woodmere Avenue, and Joseph Oglesby, 37, of the 1100 block of Greenwood Road in Princess Anne County – were later arrested and charged with first-degree murder as a result of the killing.
James Yarborough, aka “J.Y.,” 26-year-old outside supplier, of Baltimore
Yarborough, who currently has an open state drug charge, alleged helped smuggle pot and pills into prison. Investigators recently saw him with co-defendant CO Kimberly Dennis, walking out of her house, getting into her Camaro, and the two of them driving away.
Joseph Young, aka “Monster,” 30-year-old inmate, of Baltimore
Young’s phone, “Target Telephone 5,” was tapped from Nov. 9 to Dec. 4, 2012, revealing that he’s allegedly an active BGF member with a leadership role as a “floor boss” at BCDC who coordinates smuggling activities with COs and outside suppliers. Young is also alleged to be Tavon White’s heir apparent, should White leave the jail. A unindicted and unnamed lieutenant told Young that, when and if that occurs, Young would enjoy the same agreement White had with prison authorities: smuggle freely in exchange for keeping down prison violence.