New reports coming out of Georgia indicate that an ongoing bust of current and former corrections officers suspected of participating in a number of drug smuggling schemes has already resulted in 46 arrests.
Early this morning, FBI agents raided a number of prisons throughout the state, arresting guards accused of drug trafficking and searching for contraband including cell phones, weapons, and drugs.
Details and updates will be officially announced at a press conference in Atlanta this afternoon.
But so far, initial reports indicate that nearly 50 law enforcement agents were involved in a number of drug deals both inside and outside prison walls.
“Allegations range, or 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 reporters in Atlanta.
It appears that corrections officers working in at least eight different state prisons have been accepting payments from inmates to either bring drugs in to them or to facilitate deals for them on the outside.
FBI agents involved with the bust said that in many cases, officers would wear their Georgia Department of Corrections uniforms and badges while transporting illegal drugs in order to make sure that the shipments didn’t come under scrutiny or surveillance by other law enforcement agents.
And in what appears to be a sting operation, an undercover FBI agent at one point posed as a drug dealer working for a Mexican drug cartel in order to track the actions of corrupt guards.
The FBI said that correctional officers involved with the scandal received thousands of dollars in exchange for facilitating drug deals and shipments.
Atlanta news station WSB-TV2 has already called the bust one of the largest corruption cases in Georgia state history.
And while details are still forthcoming—and while the bust remains ongoing—reports have begun circulating that the arrested officers will indeed be indicted.
Reporter Mark Winne, who broke the story this morning, tweeted: “We’ve learned 46 current or fmr Ga corrections officers indicted on fed charges in #Atlanta.”