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Press Release

Inmate Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison in Baltimore Jail Racketeering Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Convicted for Racketeering and Money Laundering Following Trial of Over Two Months; A Total of 40 Defendants Have Been Convicted in the Jail Racketeering Conspiracy

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced inmate Joseph Young, a/k/a Monster, age 33, of Baltimore, today to 15 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for participating in a racketeering conspiracy and drug conspiracy, involving the smuggling of drugs and contraband inside the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC), and for money laundering conspiracy. Young was convicted on February 5, 2015, after a more than two month long jury trial.

The sentence was 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; Secretary Stephen T. Moyer of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS); Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

According to trial testimony and court documents, BGF has been the dominant gang at the Baltimore City Detention Center (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.  Tavon White and other BGF leaders and members incarcerated at BCDC were involved with and often directed the smuggling of contraband into BCDC, including cell phones, tobacco and drugs, through the services of correctional officers (COs), who received payments, gifts, or a share of the profits.

Evidence presented at trial showed that Young was a high-ranking BGF member and a rival of Tavon White within BGF while he was incarcerated at BCDC beginning in early 2012. Young was expected to replace Tavon White as BGF’s leader inside the jail. In October and November 2012, Young sold marijuana, prescription pills, cell phones and tobacco that correctional officers smuggled into the jail. Young directed another inmate, Cyrus Beads, to buy marijuana at $350 an ounce and package it in one-gram bags, which he would sell for $50 inside BCDC.  Young explained that they would make a $1,050 profit from each ounce.  Young had a romantic relationship with Raylanair Reese, who lived outside the jail and supplied Young with cell phones and Percocet pills. Evidence at trial also showed that Correctional Officer Kimberly Dennis was a major smuggler of contraband for Young.

This case was developed as a result of the efforts of the Maryland Prison Task Force, formed in 2011 with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors. The Task Force has met regularly for over three years, generating recommendations to reform prison procedures and producing leads that have been pursued by state, local and federal criminal investigators.  Investigations are continuing.

Forty of the 44 defendants charged in the racketeering conspiracy have been convicted, including 24 correctional officers.  Thirty-five defendants pleaded guilty and five defendants were convicted after trial.  Three defendants were acquitted and one defendant died.

BGF leader Tavon White, age 37, previously pleaded guilty to his participation in the racketeering conspiracy and testified at the trial and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.  Inmate Russell Carrington, a/k/ Rutt, age 34, of Baltimore, also a leader in the BGF gang, was convicted after trial and sentenced to 210 months in prison.

To date, 21 of the correctional officers have been sentenced to up to 42 months in prison.  Outside supplier Raylanair Reese, age 33, and Correctional Officer Kimberly Dennis, age 27, both of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and were sentenced to 34 months and two years in prison, respectively.

U.S. Attorney Rosenstein recognized the efforts of the other members of the Maryland Prison Task Force, including: the Maryland State Police, Prince George’s County Police Department, United States Marshals Office, DEA, Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and 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 June 24, 2015

Public Corruption