How Did MD Prisoner Advocacy Group Evolve Into Powerful Gang?


Five years ago, next to the chapel in a Maryland prison, the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF) kept its own office with desks, chairs and computers. The group's ranking members met there with community leaders to talk about reducing gang activity in prison and beyond. They wrote a manual filled with self-help rhetoric that they distributed to hundreds of inmates. But all the while, reports the Washington Post, BGF, a prison gang from California, was methodically taking root in Maryland, plotting an audacious criminal enterprise controlled largely behind bars.

Under the noses of Maryland correctional officials, the enterprise grew and flourished into a vast and violent smuggling operation that has spilled onto the streets of Baltimore. Arrests of more than a dozen correctional officers and BGF leaders this spring at a state-run detention center in Baltimore revealed what federal prosecutors said was a brazen operation to smuggle in prescription pills, tobacco and cellphones. The alleged ringleader also impregnated four prison guards, investigators said.

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