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Baltimore City Detention Center
A corrections officer works at a security post at Baltimore City Detention Center in Baltimore, Nov. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

Trial starts for 8 charged in Baltimore jail case

The trial for eight remaining defendants in a vast drug-smuggling operation at a downtown Baltimore jail has opened with jury selection.

Prosecutors say the trial should last eight weeks. Jury selection began Monday morning and is expected to last through Tuesday.

The eight defendants are the last of 44 charged in the conspiracy involving correctional officers, inmates and several others with gang ties. Prosecutors say the group plotted to smuggle drugs, cellphones and other contraband into the Baltimore jail and other corrections facilities.

Prosecutors say the ring also involved sex between inmates and guards, which led to four officers becoming pregnant by Tavon White, the convicted leader of the jailhouse gang.

Thirty-four of the 44 defendants have pleaded guilty in the conspiracy, including 21 correctional officers.