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Oct. 15, 2022

The Case of Tavon White

This is the case of Tavon White a story of corruption, and abuse within the criminal justice system that occurred at the Baltimore City Detention Center where guards should have the expectation to secure the facilities and inmates but instead, they were helping some of the inmates gain power and control to maintain an criminal enterprise.

With two hung juries in Tavon White’s attempted-murder case, he was waiting at the Baltimore City Detention Center from 2009 until 2013 under pretrial custody when he was then federally indicted for racketeering. According to his federal plea agreement, White has been a member of the Black Guerrilla Family also known as (BGF) since 2000. He became the lieutenant commander of the BGF and then the commander in 2011. During his time at the detention center with the help of other inmates and officers he was able to basically run the jail facilities and conduct his business on the streets.

Per the Federal Indictment

Tavon White and Members of the Black Guerrilla family would smuggle in cell phones brought in by guards and then use the cell phones to get contraband by placing orders with fellow members and associates on the outside. The associates would buy contraband such as drugs, tobacco, additional cell phones amongst other illegal items that would be brought to the jail and then  smuggled inside by the correctional officers.

The correctional officers would hide the contraband in their underwear, hair, internally and anywhere else they could. Many times, they could go through undetected by a metal detector and if they were pat searched typically nothing was found. Sometimes the guards would not go through the main entrance to avoid being screened all together. Once inside the facility the guard would either leave the items at predetermined locations or give the items to what they labeled as “working men” whom were inmates that had special work assignments and privileges that provided them more freedom to move around within the jail. Majority of these working men were paid members of the gang.

The Indictment goes onto to say that cellphones were used to arrange sexual encounters, as well as to discuss the arrest and release of members and associates and to warn of investigations, or people that were possibly snitching,

Approximately in 2011, Tavon White began having relationships with Jennifer Owens, who fathered two of his children. He gave her a diamond ring and allowed her to drive a black and white Mercedes Benz.  Sometime around 2012, he began a relationship with Katera Stevenson, whom also had his child and he allowed her to drive his white Mercedes. In 2012, he also got into a relationship with correctional officer Chania Brookes who had a child and she was gifted an Acura. White’s last documented relationship according to the federal indictment that resulted in a pregnancy is with Tiffany Linde also occurring around the same time frame as his other relationships.

**** Ladies and gentleman this man was busy, 4 ladies at a time, that worked at the same jail, that ended up having five of his children, and still has time to run a criminal enterprise.

On November 15, 2013,  a federal indictment came down that charged 27 defendants that include a number of inmates, and correctional officers with racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute drugs, possession with intent to distribute drugs, money laundering conspiracy, aiding and abetting, and criminal forfeiture.

White was able to become the prosecutors key witness and indicated that he instructed guards that were motivated by sex and money to smuggle in drugs and cellphones. White admitted that he fathered four of the guards and they willing participated. Due to White helping to convict 39 individuals he was able to receive a reduced sentence.

Even though White mentions that the guards gave sexual consent it should be noted if it not known already that guards are not supposed to be having sexual relations with inmates. Besides a security issue its actually illegal and considered rape.

In September 2003, Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act, known as PREA which promoted a zero-tolerance policy for inmate rape. "PREA applies to all correctional facilities, including prisons, jails, juvenile facilities, military and Indian country facilities, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities," according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Federal law criminalizes any sexual relationship between officials and inmates because inmates cannot legally give consent. It should be noted that none of the women were charged with rape.

For his role, in August of 2013, after pleading guilty, Tavon “bulldog” White was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison and three years supervised released for his role in the detention center’s corruption and racketeering case. His sentenced was reduced from the initial 20-year maximum due to him being a key witness for the prosecution.

Does anyone else see the irony in all of this? This man orchestrated a whole criminal enterprise from inside the jail with the help of officers, inmates, and outside members and was able to become the key witness and turn on the same people that helped him commit the crimes to include his baby mothers. Honestly it sounds like a good movie.

In connection with his federal guilty plea, White also pleaded guilty to the initial state charges for attempted murder that he waiting to be retried on. For which he received a sentence of 20 years in prison, both of these state and federal sentences would run concurrent (or together), plus he would most likely he get credit for the time he had already spent waiting in jail.

Prior to the federal arrest White was reported to have made approximately 15k to 16K a month. White also bought a BMW and a Mercedes-Benz while he was an inmate, which it is alleged that he allowed some of his baby mothers to drive.

Forty of the 44 defendants charged in the racketeering conspiracy have been convicted, including 24 correctional officers.  Thirty-five defendants pleaded guilty; eight defendants went to trial and one defendant has died.

The four officers impregnated.

Tiffany Linder

Was eight months pregnant with White’s child when she had to stand trial. She was accused of tipping off White regarding to a shakedown (or a search) by another officer in the jail that would be looking for contraband. White claimed Linder knew about the shakedown because she was sleeping with another corrections officer at the jail and admitted to smuggling in prescription pills. She pled guilty to racketeering charges.

Chania Brooks

Was 27 at the time of her arrest. She allegedly brought attention to herself and other workers due to having an argument with Tiffany Linder, who was also pregnant with White’s child at the same time. Brooks also filed assault charges against another one of White’s baby mothers, Katera Stevenon. Brooks was released on 08/24/2016.

Jennifer Owens

Was 32 at the time of her arrest, she loved White so much she decided to get his name tattooed on her neck. She also gave birth to two of his kids. She pleaded guilty to racketeering and was released on 06/07/2016.

Katera Stevenson

Was 26 at the time of the arrest, reportedly fell in love with White after he would give her money and allow her to drive a Mercedes-Benz. She got pregnant by White when she was 24 and helped him bring contraband inside the detention center. However, she accidentally one day left contraband outside and it froze during a snowy day in Baltimore. Stevenson pleaded guilty to racketeering, was sentenced to 3 years supervised release, and completed her sentenced on 02/03/2017.

Due to the embarrassment that involved many government employees as well as the detention center being cited for health and safety violations due to having deplorable conditions to include a falling roof and sewage issues. The detention center  was shut down in 2015 shortly after the convictions of numerous officers and inmates. It would eventually go on to be demolished starting in 2019.

Play stupid games win stupid prizes.



District Court of Maryland Indictment https://cdn.s3-media.wbal.com/Media/Archive/4a76cc93-415d-4c15-bbe0-573a7346f62e/original.pdf