By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun
11:49 AM EDT, May 20, 2013
Federal and state law enforcement agencies have been working since 2011 to take on corruption in prisons — their efforts recently resulted in the indictment of more than two dozen in an alleged smuggling scheme — and a document the FBI released last week provides new details on the partnership.
But the memo makes no mention of the Black Guerrilla Family or Tavon White, the gang and its alleged jailhouse leader accused in a federal indictment last month of running the operation at the Baltimore City Detention Center.
Rich Wolf, a spokesman for the FBI in Baltimore, said the state "spearheaded" the initiative but that it wasn't set up with White or the BGF in mind. "I can't get into when he was on the radar, but it wasn't immediate," he said.
Since the scandal broke in April, state officials have said the partnership was their idea, arguing that it demonstrated a willingness to take on corruption. The document shows that corrections Secretary Gary D. Maynard was the first to sign it.
Raquel Guillory, a spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O'Malley added, "The task force was formed with gangs as part of the mission."
The full mission of the project, according to the document, is to "successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute violations of federal criminal statutes pertaining to public corruption and civil rights involving local, state, and federal officials or entities, with a particular emphasis on those related to the correctional institutions in the state of Maryland."
Much of the rest of the memo deals with bureaucratic details such as who would have final say over news releases about investigations, how reports would be filed and what the FBI would have to tell its partners about its informants.
Del. Michael S. Smigiel Sr., an Eastern Shore Republican who had lobbied to get the memo, said its lack of specificity raises new questions.
"We have to find other documents that tell us why we went into this agreement," he said.
Baltimore Sun reporter Erin Cox contributed to this article.
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