Officers Arrested: Names Of 49 Georgia Officers And Prisoners Involved In FBI Sting Released

A total of 49 Georgia correctional officers arrested face more than seven different federal indictments after an FBI sting revealed the officers were reportedly charging prisoners in exchange for contraband items such as cellphones, drugs, and more.

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports that the FBI began an undercover crackdown two years ago in an effort to stop criminal activities within Georgia’s prisons. Guards from 11 facilities across Georgia were arrested on various charges, ranging from accepting bribe money for drug transactions, drug trafficking, and contraband smuggling.

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Many of the correctional officers thought they were working with high-profile drug traffickers, and in exchange for thousands of dollars, they allegedly helped smuggle in drugs and other contraband. According to U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia John Horn, the officers thought their uniform and badge would protect them from getting caught.

“It is truly troubling that so many corrections officers from across the state of Georgia could be so willing to sell their oaths, to sell their badges, for personal profit to benefit and protect purported drug transactions, drug dealers.”

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Contraband smuggled into the prisons included tobacco and tobacco products, cellphones, and alcohol. Inmates reportedly used the cellphones to conduct a series of fraudulent transactions, including money laundering, wire fraud, drug trafficking, and identity theft. Per court documents, one of the defendants made over $2,000 via bribes.

Since 2014, the DOC confiscated a total of 23,500 cellphones inside prisons. Most of the phones confiscated had internet options, making it easy for inmates to go online.

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In light of the recent sting, a number of people are questioning not only the ethics of the guards but also how they got hired in the first place. According to Corrections Commissioner Homer Bryson, some of the correctional officers were probably not thoroughly screened before being hired.

“The honest answer is we’re not able to do thorough enough background checks because we have to hire people at such low salaries that its difficult to fill those vacancies.”

As of Thursday, the following Georgia Department of Corrections (DOC) officers, civilians, and one inmate have been charged with various crimes of smuggling contraband, drug trafficking, drug transactions, and more.

  • Ashley Jenee Barnes, 21, of Sparta, a correctional officer at Riverbend Correctional Facility
  • Selena Black, 22, of Oglethorpe, a correctional officer at Macon State Prison
  • Michael Bostic, 32, of Lawrenceville, a former correctional officer at Phillips State Prison
  • William Dale Bragg, 25, of Warner Robins, an inmate at the Washington State Prison in Davisboro; Bragg is serving time for a 2009 armed robbery incident.
  • Crystal Sasha Brooks, 22, of Tenille, a former correctional officer at Hancock State Prison
  • Jessica Brown, 30, of Milledgeville, a correctional officer at Baldwin State Prison
  • Chasity Coleman, 22, of Cordele, a former correctional officer at Dooly State Prison
  • Patrick Coleman, 43, of Tucker, a former correctional officer at Phillips State Prison
  • Angela Dinkins, 25, of Morrow, a former correctional officer at Dooly State Prison
  • Quardarrius Duhart, 29, of Tennille, a former inmate at Calhoun State Prison in Morgan; Duhart served time for aggravated stalking and is now on parole.
  • Travonne Ferrell, 22, of Milledgeville, a correctional officer on the Georgia COBRA Squad
  • Benjamin Floyd, 23, of Hawkinsville, a former correctional officer at Dooly State Prison
  • Tacowan Fluellen, 24, of Milledgeville, a correctional officer on the Georgia COBRA Squad
  • Justin Gennings, 29, of Port Royal, South Carolina, a former correctional officer at Phillips State Prison
  • Charisma Glenn, 22, of Milledgeville, a correctional officer at Riverbend Correctional Facility
  • Jaleel Green, 23, of Oglethorpe: a correctional officer at Dooly State Prison
  • Kenny Grover, 28, of Fort Valley: formerly a correctional officer at Macon State Prison
  • Kierria Harvey, 23, of Milledgeville: a correctional officer at Riverbend Correctional Facility
  • Cortavius Henderson, 23, of Cordele: formerly a correctional officer at Dooly State Prison
  • Pierre Hill, 33, of Warrenton, a former correctional officer at the Hancock State Prison
  • Joshua Johnson, 20, of Kingsland: formerly a correctional officer at Macon State Prison
  • Marvin Johnson, 33, of Rochelle
  • Tamika Johnson, 34, of Forsyth: a correctional officer on the Georgia COBRA Squad
  • Winfred Johnson, 25, of Sandersville, a former correctional officer at Riverbend Correctional Facility
  • Ethan Kilgore, 24, of Dublin, a correctional officer at Dodge State Prison
  • Kewanda Love, 26, of Cochran, a former corrections officer at Pulaski State Prison
  • Chelsey Mayweather, 24, of Milledgeville, a former correctional officer at Baldwin State Prison
  • Tiawanna McDonald, 24, of Centerville: a correctional officer at Dooly State Prison
  • Jarratt Ken Melvin, 23, of Thomaston, a former correctional officer at Pulaski State Prison
  • Phoenicia Minor, 30, of Bonaire: a correctional officer at Pulaski State Prison
  • Shameka Mobley, 27, of Warner Robins: a correctional officer at Pulaski State Prison
  • Brandon Mullino, 34, of Hawkinsville: a correctional officer at Dooly State Prison
  • Trevon Newsome, 22, of Warner Robins: a correctional officer at Macon State Prison
  • Angelique Pate, 25, of Montezuma, a former correctional officer at Macon State Prison
  • Ebony Scott, 26, of Tennille: a correctional officer at Riverbend Correctional Facility
  • Anthony Shoffner, 23, of Kathleen: a correctional officer at Macon State Prison
  • Sarne Sylvester, 28, of Albany, a former correctional officer at Autry State Prison
  • Tavia Trammer, 34, of Lawrenceville, a former correctional officer at Phillips State Prison
  • Tramaine Tucker, 27, of Milledgeville, a former correctional officer at Riverbend Correctional
  • Brandon Watkins, 24, of Warner Robins, a former correctional officer at Dooly State Prison
  • James Julius Watkins Jr., 26, a former correctional officer at Hancock State Prison
  • Alice Whitfield, 24, of Unadilla, a correctional officer at Dooly State Prison
  • Branden Wiley, 24, of Cordele, a correctional officer at Dooly State Prison
  • Christopher Tate Williams, 25, of Sparta, a former correctional officer at Hancock State Prison
  • Tonia Williams, 25, of Warner Robins: a correctional officer on the Georgia COBRA Squad
  • Keyerra Winkfield, 24, of Milledgeville, a former correctional officer at Riverbend Correctional Facility

The officers arrested were handed over to the U.S. Marshals and are awaiting their trials at undisclosed locations. The inmate and civilians are also awaiting their trials in undisclosed locations.

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]