In Georgia, nearly 46 current and former correction officers involved in a statewide drug trafficking operation were arrested by the FBI today. The arrests came about as a result of a two-year investigation by the federal authorities, reports CNN.
United States Attorney for the Northen District of Georgia John Horn announced details of the arrests and the FBI’s raids at the nine prisons where the trafficking took place.
The indictments revealed “staggering corruption within Georgia Department of Corrections institutions,” said John Horn, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.
Among those arrested were five members of an elite squad aimed at busting up drug dealing in prison, called the Cobra unit. Also rounded up in the bust were two civilians and one inmate.
The probe found that prison guards and staff were smuggling contraband such as liquor, tobacco and cell phones into the cell blocks for money. Inmates used the illegal cell phones to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft.
Local outlet WMAZ states in their report that 49 individuals were arrested and were to appear before a judge earlier today. Attorney General Horn had stern words for the arrested, and called their actions “troubling” during a press conference.
“They not only betrayed the institutions that they were sworn to protect, but they betrayed the trust and faith of thousands of honest corrections officers who upload the values of their jobs every day,” said Horn.