US Attorney John Horn gives a press conference about the indictments Thursday. Photo via the FBI
The FBI announced Thursday that almost 50 current and former Georgia Department of Corrections officers were indicted for allegedly pocketing bribes in exchange for helping sneak contraband into prisons, as the Washington Post reports.
The goods are said to have included booze and cell phones, and some guards are accused of helping inmates and their allies traffic multiple kilos of coke and meth on the outside. Among those caught in the FBI sting—dubbed "Operation Ghost Guard"—are members of the Cobra Unit, an elite team of guards whose sole mission was to target drug dealing in prisons.
In a press conference held Thursday, John Horn, the US attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said the indictments revealed "staggering corruption within Georgia Department of Corrections institutions."
"It's troubling that so many officers from state correctional institutions across Georgia were willing to sell their badges for personal payoffs from purported drug dealers," Horn continued. "They not only betrayed the institutions they were sworn to protect, but they also betrayed the ideals that thousands of honest, hard-working correctional officers uphold every day."
According to the FBI's investigation, corrupt guards can earn up to a grand for smuggling a single mobile phone to prisoners, who often use the phones to pull off phone scams and identity theft from their cells. Also arrested were a couple of civilians and one inmate. The feds say the latter is a top player in the Bloods and tried to get the dad of the prosecutor who convicted him whacked in 2014.