Prison corruption crackdown yields 46 arrests in Georgia

by: Chris Patterson Updated:

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ATLANTA - Multiple prisons in Georgia were raided early Thursday, resulting in dozens of arrests, Channel 2's Mark Winne learned exclusively.

Winne reported that 46 current or former corrections officers were indicted on federal charges.

The raid targeted contraband, including drugs and cellphones.

The Georgia Department of Corrections Office of Professional Standards director said that after the arrest of five officers by the FBI, assisted by his agents, the FBI ran an undercover operation.

Officers entered Dooly State Prison around dawn Thursday for a shakedown of the entire facility in search of drugs, cellphones, weapons and other contraband.

“Allegations range, of course, from smuggling in contraband to our inmates here, but also using their official capacity as officers to protect what they believe to be drug transactions and drug shipments traveling through Georgia,” Ricky Myrick, director of the Office of Investigations and Compliance at the Department of Corrections, told Winne.

Dooly was one of seven Georgia prisons where officers conducted one of the biggest corruption busts in Georgia corrections history, if not the biggest.

One of the seven prisons where officers were arrested is run by a private company called the Geo Group.

Myrick says he was plugged into the FBI's investigation for roughly two years. Investigators say the cost of that investigation came close to one million dollars.

"Commissioner Bryson he, like I say, this war on cellphones, we're taking it very seriously and we're going to continue to root out cellphones and all the corruption in the state of Georgia in the prison system,” said Assistant Commissioner Timothy Ward.