The Georgia Department of Corrections announced today that 46 current and former prison guards have been arrested for smuggling contraband such as drugs and cellphones into seven state-run prisons.
The FBI setup a sting operation to ensnare the sworn officers, some of whom merely provided protection, while others actually transported banned items into the jails.
Georgia’s Department of Corrections is fond of publishing the running tally of those arrested for contraband smuggling onto their Facebook page, proudly noting last month:
**MORE THAN 812 CIVILIANS AND 204 STAFF MEMBERS HAVE BEEN ARRESTED TO DATE FOR ATTEMPTING TO INTRODUCE CONTRABAND INTO GDC FACILITIES.**
Now it seems as if they’ll have to update their records with this latest, eye-popping haul of prison guards caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
Local TV station WSB-TV 2 broke the story first saying:
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.
Now that the arrests have been made, it’s up to the state to prosecute each individual case. However, it remains unclear if the FBI’s operation merely collected all of the low-level offenders or if the ringleaders were arrested.
Either way, it’s good to see a state-level corrections agency take responsibility for public corruption and actually do something about it.
This is a breaking story and will be updated as soon as new information becomes available.