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Press Release

Correctional Officer And BGF Inmate With Whom She Had Sex Sentenced In Jail House Racketeering Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Correctional Officer Smuggled Drugs for BGF into Baltimore Correctional Facility; BGF Inmate Had Sex with Correctional Officers and Directed Them to Smuggle Contraband into the Prison

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced correctional officer Taryn Kirkland, age 23, of Baltimore to 42 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release, and BGF member and commander Steven Loney, age 24, today to nine years in prison followed by three years of supervised release, for racketeering conspiracy arising from the smuggling of drugs for members of the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) gang inside the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC).

The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Acting Secretary Gregg Hershberger of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.

According to court documents, BGF has been the dominant gang at the BCDC, and in several connected facilities, including the Baltimore Central Booking Intake Center, the Women’s Detention Center, which houses many men, and in the Jail Industries Building.

According to their plea agreements, Kirkland worked as a correctional officer at BCDC where BGF member Loney was an inmate. For a time, Loney was a cellmate of Tavon White, the leader of BGF at BCDC. Following his transfer to another section, Loney became the commander of one of two BGF regimes at BCDC, and answered only to Tavon White. Throughout 2011 to 2013, Loney often directed the smuggling of contraband into BCDC by BGF members and associates, especially through the services of correctional officers. Loney became involved in sexual relationships with correctional officers, including Kirkland. Kirkland frequently smuggled contraband, including marijuana and prescription pills, into BCDC on behalf of Loney. Kirkland also helped other correctional officers, such as Jennifer Owens, smuggle drugs into BCDC for other BGF inmates such as Tavon White.

Correctional officer Adrena Rice, age 25, of Baltimore previously pleaded guilty to her participation in the conspiracy and was sentenced on January 8, 2014 to 42 months in prison. BGF leader Tavon White, age 36, also pleaded guilty to the racketeering enterprise and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 20, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. Outside supplier James Yarborough, a/k/a J.Y., age 27, of Baltimore, is scheduled to have a rearraignment tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

The case arose from the efforts of the Maryland Prison Task Force, a group of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors that met regularly for more than two years and generated recommendations to reform prison procedures. The investigation is continuing.

U.S. Attorney Rosenstein recognized the efforts of the other members of the Maryland Prison Task Force, including: Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department; United States Marshal Johnny Hughes; Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; Tom Carr, Director of the Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area; and Dave Engel, Executive Director of the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Baltimore Police Department, and Maryland Prison Task Force, for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Robert R. Harding and Ayn B. Ducao, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.

Updated January 26, 2015