The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided eight Georgia state prison facilities and made 46 arrests of current and former prison guards, charging them with trafficking drugs, cell phones, and weapons.
In addition to smuggling contraband into the prisons for inmates, these officers with the Georgia Department Of Corrections also would provide security for drug deals outside the prison in exchange for money. Many of these prison guards were providing security for dealers whom they believed were part of a Mexican drug cartel. In reality, the uniformed officers were working with undercover FBI agents who were posing as drug dealers.
The undercover operation extended into the prison system itself, exposing corruption among the correctional officers who would provide inmates with drugs, cell phones, and weapons in exchange for bribes. WSB-TV reported:
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The Georgia Department of Corrections Office of Professional Standards director said that after the arrest of five officers by the FBI, assisted by his agents, the FBI ran an undercover operation.
Officers entered Dooly State Prison around dawn Thursday for a shakedown of the entire facility in search of drugs, cellphones, weapons and other contraband.
“Allegations range, of course, from smuggling in contraband to our inmates here, but also using their official capacity as officers to protect what they believe to be drug transactions and drug shipments traveling through Georgia,” Ricky Myrick, director of the Office of Investigations and Compliance at the Department of Corrections, told Winne.
Dooly was one of seven Georgia prisons where officers conducted one of the biggest corruption busts in Georgia corrections history, if not the biggest.
Last month, Georgia state prisons were the target of a federal investigation into correctional officers’ smuggling in cell phones for inmates. Prison inmates were reportedly carrying on a scam where they’d call residents in Atlanta and around the country claiming to be with law enforcement and telling them that there was a warrant out for their arrest for failure to show up for jury duty. To have the warrant dismissed, the prison inmates would tell their victims that all they had to do was pay them by purchasing a GreenDot card and paying into the inmates’ account. Over 8,000 cell phones were confiscated last year.
This kind of corruption in prisons is nothing new. A few years ago, raw video was released showing inmates at the Orleans Parish Prison in Louisiana doing drugs, gambling, and waving guns.
Warning: Graphic drug use