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Georgia Correctional Officers, Georgia Department of Corrections


PELHAM, Ga. Jan 23 2016– More than 50 people have been charged in connection with a massive corruption investigation into one Georgia state prison.

PELHAM, Ga. Jan 23 2016-– More than 50 people have been charged in connection with a massive corruption investigation into one Georgia state prison.

Officials said on Thursday that numerous Georgia Department of Corrections employees, inmates and even people from outside the prison system were federally charged with a slew of charges such as conspiring to commit wire fraud, conspiring to commit money laundering and accepting bribes to smuggle contraband into Jimmy Autry State Prison in Pelham, Ga.

Autry State Prison houses about 1,700 of the state’s estimated 50,000 inmates.

U.S. Attorney John A. Horn’s office said that the alleged activity was committed from inside the prisons and initiated by inmates.

“The indictments allege that inmates managed and directed a number of elaborate fraud schemes that victimized citizens from across the country from within the Georgia prison system using contraband cell phones,” said U.S. Attorney John A. Horn.

Horn said that since September 2015, 75 people had been charged with criminal conduct that began from within the prison system. It is illegal to give an inmate a cell phone and illegal for the inmate to possess one.

“The unfortunate common denominator to this criminal conduct is the pervasive availability of contraband cell phones, which allows too many prison inmates to continue victimizing our communities while serving their sentences,” Horn said.

In this case, the cell phones were used to access websites that would identify potential fraud victims. They then used the phones to impersonate officers in various scams.

In these, they told their victims that they had failed to appear for jury duty and that warrants had been issued for the victims arrest unless they paid a fine.

In a lengthy process involving cash cards, co-conspirators outside the prison would transfer money from card to card with the goal of eventually putting it back in the hands of the inmates.

But outside connections weren’t the only people who allegedly participated in this process, officials said. Of the 51 charged, 15 were current or former corrections officers at Autry State Prison.

Read the full list of those charged in the list below:

  • Shalonda Baker, 33, of Bainbridge, Georgia, formerly a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to accept bribe payments to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Leanna Bearden, 25, of Cairo, Georgia, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • Iesha Bell, 25, of Waco, Texas, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • Austin Bradley, a/k/a “Red,” 22, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
  • Ashley Butler, 28, of Macon, Georgia, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • Karhary Campbell, 37, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud, to commit money laundering, and to bribe correctional officers to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Toccara Cantrell, 30, of Gainesville, Georgia, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • Cellie Clark, 35, of Lynchburg, Virginia, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering, and money laundering.
  • Jokelera Copeland, 28, of Doerun, Georgia, a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to accept bribe payments to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Jonathan Jamaal Daniels, 22, of Camilla, Georgia, formerly a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with accepting bribe payments to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Willa Davis, 60, of Las Vegas, Nevada, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • Tyler Dickens, 22, of Bainbridge, Georgia, formerly a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison and formerly an Early County Sheriff’s Deputy, has been charged with conspiring to accept bribe payments to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Renaldo Freeman, 30, of Pelham, Georgia, a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to accept bribe payments to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Caeser Futch, 36, of Lithonia, Georgia, a paroled inmate from Autry and Phillips State Prisons, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • Dayia Gilbert, 23, Camilla, Georgia, formerly a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to accept bribe payments to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Keri Hatcher, 29, of Aurora, Colorado, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • Chameta Isom, 32, of Camilla, Georgia, a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to accept bribe payments to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Bettie Jones, 53, of Dawson, Georgia, has been charged with conspiring to bribe correctional officers at Autry State Prison to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Brian Kennedy, 25, of Thomasville, Georgia, formerly a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with accepting bribe payments to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Laporshia Knight, 40, of Macon, Georgia, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • Ricky Knight, a/k/a “Slick,” 36, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud, to commit money laundering, and to bribe correctional officers to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Melissa Lloyd, 35, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • Jessee Lopez, a/k/a “Loco,” 37, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud, to commit money laundering, and to bribe Correctional Officers to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Calvin Martin, 21, of Albany, Georgia, formerly a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to accept bribe payments to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Amber Mayes, 29, of Dublin, Georgia, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • Sharron McCoy, a/k/a “Ron G,” 26, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud, to commit money laundering, and to bribe correctional officers to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Cassaundra McGhee, 45, of McDonough, Georgia, has been charged with conspiring to bribe correctional officers to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Tadia Mercer, 41, of Leesburg, Georgia, formerly a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with extortion under color of official right.
  • Kiatya Milton, 42, of Sylvester, Georgia, formerly a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
  • Tangela Parks, 33, of Lithonia, Georgia, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • Steven Patterson, 29, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
  • Reginald Perkins, 35, of Atlanta, Georgia, a paroled inmate from Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • David Pinder, a/k/a “Wolf,” 30, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
  • Anthony Powell, a/k/a “Bo,” 39, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with wire fraud, conspiring to commit money laundering, and money laundering.
  • Aida Rosa, 27, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • Anthony Sanders, a/k/a “Stick ‘em Up,” 25, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
  • Terrance Shields, a/k/a “DK,” 41, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
  • Clifford Smalls, a/k/a “D Boy,” 31, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with wire fraud and money laundering.
  • Shameik Spinks, 22, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to bribe correctional officers to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Shebrikia Stewart, 28, of Albany, Georgia, formerly a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to accept bribe payments to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Joseph Tate, Jr., a/k/a “Cool,” 34, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring commit wire fraud and money laundering.
  • Edward Townsend, 40, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.
  • Derrick Watson, 36, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Veronica Watters, 38, Atlanta, was charged with conspiring to have contraband smuggled into the prison.
  • Douglas Welch, 34, of Cordele, Georgia, has been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering and conspiring to bribe correctional officers to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Benjamin Williams, a/k/a “Ohio,” 24, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
  • Quintavious Williams, 20, of Dawson, Georgia, has been charged with conspiring to bribe corrections officers to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Shameka Williams, 31, of Albany, Georgia, a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with accepting bribe payments in exchange for not reporting criminal acts of other Corrections Officers.
  • Christina Wilson, 34, of Albany, Georgia, formerly a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to accept bribe payments to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Ermesha Wingfield, 25, of Albany, Georgia, formerly a Correctional Officer at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to bribe Correctional Officers to smuggle contraband into the prison.
  • Rokei Winston, a/k/a “Double R,” 32, formerly an inmate at Autry State Prison, has been charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
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