Around 46 current and former officers have been detained following raids by FBI on Thursday in Georgia; this is the result of a two-year undercover operation by the authorities. The indictments charged were over “drug and bribery.” The operation revealed about several corruption plans in Georgia Department of Corrections Institutions.
Officers were involved in passing liquor, tobacco and cell phones into the several blocks. Inmates were accused of fraud, money laundering and identity theft.Officers have been accused of using their badges to indicate drug dealing plans. The whole traffic chain was suspected of using kilos of cocaine and meth in exchange of bribe money.
Five of them were members of a superior drug-busting squad called Cobra Unit. Two civilians and one inmate were also caught.
Britt Johnson, special agent from Atlanta FBI office said that the cellphone-nexus is a major nerve of this contraband.
“It makes a huge challenge for law enforcement. 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.” said Johnson in a report filed by CNN.
Some of the inmates revealed about a financial fraud scheme which involved 51 people in total. Around 15 former officers and 19 inmates were arrested at Autry State Prison in Pelham. Few weeks later 17 people were accused of distributing crystal methamphetamine in metro Atlanta and around, according to a report by Jacksonville.
In 2014, a North Carolina inmate arranged a hostage-taking from the inside of the prison using cellphone.
“When an inmate can reach beyond prison walls and threaten and intimidate witnesses and prosecutors, it’s a breakdown of the judicial system,” Johnson said.
All the accused officers were scheduled to face federal magistrate in groups of four or five on Thursday.
From September until now, around 130 people have been detained including: prison employees, inmates and former inmates. About 52,000 prisoners and 10,500 employees are under the surveillance of the Georgia prison system.