For Immediate Release
Two year GDC & FBI investigation results in more than 45 Federal Indictments
Investigation exposes staff corruption
FORSYTH, Ga. – In the third phase of a continuing investigative effort between the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), federal indictments have been handed down for 16 current GDC Correctional Officers, 23 former GDC Correctional Officers, four current GEO Group (private facility) Correctional Officers, three former GEO Group Correctional Officers, one GDC inmate, and two civilians. The 16 GDC officers and four GEO officers, who were most recently employed, were terminated effective today, February 11, 2016.
“We truly appreciate the swift response to our request for assistance from our partners at the FBI,” said Commissioner Bryson. “We stand committed in our continuing efforts to bring to justice, those who pose a threat to the safety of the public and to the operations of our facilities. Shedding light on individuals involved in this type of corruption will remain our focus and we will seek prosecution to the fullest extent of the law,” continued Bryson.
Phase three in this two-year joint operation, exposes staff corruption involving smuggling contraband (liquor, tobacco, and cell phones) into correctional facilities across the state of Georgia. This latest round of arrests involves employees from eight GDC state prisons and one GEO Group prison. The GDC facilities include Autry, Baldwin, Dodge, Dooly, Georgia Diagnostic & Classification, Hancock, Macon, and Pulaski State Prisons; and the GEO facility is Riverbend Correctional Facility. Inmates used illegal cell phones, introduced by both GDC and GEO Correctional Officers, to commit wire fraud, money laundering, and identity theft. In addition, this operation revealed that these officers willingly used their status as law enforcement officials to protect alleged drug deals.
The 49 individuals who have been indicted are: current GDC employees, Correctional Officer (CO) Selena Black, CO Jessica Brown, CO Travonne Ferrell (COBRA), CO Dontavis Fluellen (COBRA), CO Tacowan Fluellen (COBRA), CO Jaleel Green, CO Tamika Johnson (COBRA), CO Ethan Kilgore, CO Tiawanna McDonald, CO Phoenicia Minor, CO Shameka Mobley, CO Brandon Mullino, CO Trevon Newsome, CO Anthony Shoffner (COBRA), CO Alice Whitfield, and CO Branden Wiley; former GDC Officers, Michael Bostic, Crystal Brooks, Christopher Clayton, Chasity Coleman, Patrick Coleman, Angela Dinkins, Benjamin Floyd, Jeremy Fluellen, Justin Gennings, Kenny Grover, Cortavius Henderson, Pierre Hill, Joshua Johnson, Kewanda Love, Chelsey Mayweather, Jarratt Ken Melvin, Angelique Pate, Sarne Sylvester, Tavia Trammer, Brandon Watkins, James Watkins, Christopher Williams, and Tonia Williams (COBRA); current GEO Group employees, CO Charisma Glenn, CO Kierria Harvey, CO Ebony Scott, and CO Keyerra Winkfield; former GEO Group employees, CO Ashley Barnes, CO Tramaine Tucker, and CO Winfred Johnson; GDC inmate William Dale Bragg (GDC#1000020452); and civilians Quardarrius Duhart and Marvin Johnson. Details on charges for these individuals can be found within the Department of Justice’s press release.
This undercover joint operation between GDC and the FBI, uncovered more than 45 officers (GDC and GEO) offered protection for trafficking multiple kilograms of methamphetamine and cocaine, in exchange for thousands of dollars in cash bribe payments. Officers involved in these drug deals, wore GDC and GEO uniforms or badges in an effort to avoid law enforcement scrutiny.
“Through this investigative effort with the FBI, we have shown to both our employees and the public that ridding our prisons of corrupt staff is one of our top priorities,” said Commissioner Bryson. “We will not stand for the endangerment of our staff, inmates and the overall operations of our prisons. Those employees currently working for us as well as those who are interested in joining our team take heed to the following warning. If you are corrupt and endanger the lives of others, know that it is only a matter of time until we expose the truth and when we do, we will prosecute those to the fullest extent.”
The GDC has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees.
For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5247 or visit http://www.gdc.ga.gov.