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Accused prison contraband leader pleads not guilty

The U.S. Attorney’s office says the alleged leader of a jailhouse contraband ring has pleaded not guilty to federal charges in the case.

Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office, says Tavon White appeared at arraignment Monday and pleaded not guilty to the charges announced last week.

White is one of 25 people charged in the case, including 13 female corrections officers. Prosecutors say White also fathered five children with four of the corrections officers while awaiting trial for attempted murder in the Baltimore City Detention Center. Some of the female officers tattooed White’s name on their bodies, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors say White is the leader of a gang known as the Black Guerilla Family that smuggled drugs, cellphones and other contraband into the jail.