By Ian Duncan
The Baltimore Sun
The second-in-command in the Black Guerrilla Family gang at the Baltimore jail pleaded guilty Thursday to his part in a drug smuggling operation, just hours after a corrections officer with whom he was sexually involved also admitted her role in court.
Steven Loney joined the gang in 2011, according to his plea agreement, and was for a time the cellmate of the BGF's jail leader, Tavon White.
When Loney, who was awaiting trial on an attempted-murder charge, moved to a new section in the jail, he set up his own operation using corrections officers to smuggle contraband and answered only to White.
Loney pleaded guilty to assault this year on the case that landed him in jail and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Among the corrections officers he worked with was Taryn Kirkland, who also pleaded guilty Thursday to smuggling marijuana and prescription pills into the jail. Kirkland maintained a ledger for Loney, recording his illicit transactions in a notebook that she kept under her bed, according to an affidavit filed in the case.
But on Jan. 21. the pair got into an argument about money in a phone call that was intercepted by authorities. Kirkland said she had a prepaid debit card with $720 on it, but Loney thought there should be more.
"Baby, the [expletive] $1,300 was on there," Loney said. "That's how you was suppose to took that off to get the money for the weed that day."
In total, 25 people — including 13 female corrections officers — were charged with racketeering, drug and money laundering offenses in a case unsealed in April. The indictment rocked the state's corrections system with lurid allegations of behind-bars sex and rampant, profitable smuggling.
Kirkland's lawyer, Charles N. Curlett Jr., said she had accepted responsibility for her role in the smuggling.
"She is genuinely remorseful," he added, "and is optimistically anticipating her sentence."
Loney's attorney could not be reached for comment.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
A number of the other defendants, including White, have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. In the meantime, a special panel of state lawmakers is investigating ways to prevent corruption at the jail.