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Federal corrections officer, inmates charged in Atlanta drug smuggling scheme

Utilizing inmates that were a part of their "plumbing crew," the officer allegedly smuggled contraband through a visitor's bathroom.

ATLANTA — A federal corrections officer and two federal inmates have been brought up on bribery and smuggling charges. The charges follow an alleged scheme to bring drugs into U.S. Penitentiary Atlanta. 

The three suspects allegedly crafted a scheme to smuggle cell phones, other contraband and drugs ranging from marijuana to methamphetamine into the medium-security federal prison between June 2018 and Feb. 2019, the Department of Justice said in a press release.

“The FBI will relentlessly pursue any allegations of corruption in these facilities to ensure the safety of both staff and inmates,” F.B.I. Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Chris Hacker said in a press release.

The corrections officer also acted as a plumbing supervisor at the prison, allegedly using inmates on his "plumbing crew" to smuggle the various contraband into the prison from a visitor's bathroom. After creating holes in the walls of the nearby W-ward, the corrections officer would escort inmates into the ward to pick up contraband passed off from the bathroom through the holes in the W-ward. 

The inmates would then hide the contraband within the prison's maintenance office and within the ceiling of the correction officer's office. The officer was allegedly bribed with $5,000 in cash and pain pills in return for participating in the smuggling scheme.

The three suspects were arraigned on Dec. 16 on a nine-count indictment. The full list of charges can be found below.

  • Bribery
  • Possessing and smuggling of prohibited objects into a federal prison (including cellular phones, marijuana and methamphetamine)
  • Conspiracy to commit bribery
  • Conspiracy to possess and smuggle prohibited objects into a federal prison
  • Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances 

The F.B.I. and Department of Justice are continuing to investigate the case.


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