FBI raids at nine Georgia penitentiaries have netted 46 current or former correction officers, CNN reported on Friday. The guards are charged with smuggling contraband into prisons or accepting bribes in exchange for protecting drug-dealers and allowing them to continue illegal activities from inside correctional facilities. The raids also lead to the arrest of one inmate and two civilians.
Speaking of “staggering corruption within Georgia Department of Corrections institutions,” John Horn, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said that the alleged drug deals took place outside prison walls and involved the sale of cocaine and methamphetamine. “It is truly troubling that so many corrections officers from across the state of Georgia could be so willing to sell their oath, sell their badges for personal profit to benefit and protect purported drug transactions” Horn said at a press conference.
They not only betrayed the institutions that they were sworn to protect, but they betrayed the trust and faith of thousands of honest corrections officers who uphold the values of their jobs every day.
Special Agent Britt Johnson of the FBI‘s Atlanta office said that the smuggling of cell phones into prisons poses a serious problem. “It makes a huge challenge for law enforcement,” Johnson told CNN.
After you chase down, arrest and prosecute criminals and put them away for life, and they continue to direct crime on the streets from their jail cells.
The Special Agent gave the example of a 2014 hostage-taking incident in Atlanta that was orchestrated via cell phone from inside a North Carolina prison.
13WMAZ reported that those arrested in the sting include five members of the DOC Tactical Team: officers trained in the use of firearms, chemical munitions and riot control.
The individuals facing charges were expected to be dealt with by a federal magistrate on Thursday and would then likely be handed back over to Federal Marshals to await trial.