A Georgia Department of Corrections officer was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 2 for bringing alcohol, drugs, and contraband cellphones into Hays State Prison.
On February 7, 2018, officer Mark Edward Jeffery, 33, was seen by another officer with a large rectangular object wrapped in black electrical tape inside Jeffery’s lunch container. The officer reported it to a supervisor as possible contraband.
Jeffery was searched later that day by the prison’s chief of security. Security found one glass pipe, four cellular phone chargers, four smartphones, two bags containing 190 suspected ecstasy pills, a plastic bag with methamphetamine and a water bottle with alcohol.
He was arrested on federal charges of possession with the intent to distribute.
According to the Department of Justice:
> “Jeffery failed to uphold his duty as a correctional officer when he allegedly smuggled illegal contraband into prison,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Correctional officers who smuggle contraband into prisons not only betray the institutions they protect, but also jeopardize the safety of fellow correctional officers and inmates.”
FBI Special Agent Chris Hacker stated that whenever contraband is brought into prisons, it jeopardizes the safety of inmates and officers. Hacker goes on to state that when an officer brings in contraband, it violates their sworn oath and those that chose to break it will be held accountable.
According to Times Free Press, Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner Gregory Dozier stated:
> “We are committed to ridding our prisons of individuals who bring discredit to the badge, and we are proud of those officers who work with integrity and vigilance in stopping the introduction of contraband into our facilities.”
This case is being investigated by both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Department of Corrections. The prosecutor for this case is Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Brock Brockington.
This is not the first time a correctional officer has smuggled contraband into a jail.
In 2016, the FBI took action against officers that were smuggling in Georgia with Operation Ghost Guard arresting 46 officers.
In August, a Tennessee correctional officer was arrested for bringing in cell phones and having sex with inmates.