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Prison guards accused in federal drug trafficking case

An incident recently occurred outside of Florida involving a large number of prison guards who were accused of a crime. It is alleged that the guards used their status to participate in a federal drug trafficking scheme. They are also accused of accepting bribes and assisting in fraudulent acts.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is said to have conducted a sting operation. Reports indicate the the drugs used in the sting were not real. The investigation reportedly led to at least 46 current and former officers being arrested. A prison inmate and one civilian were also placed under arrest on a recent Thursday in connection with the incident.

The 46 are part of more than 100 who have been arrested and indicted since Sept. 2015 in the FBI investigation known as "Operation Ghost Guard." Part of the supposed criminal activity involved correctional officers and other prison employees who allegedly participated in a telephone scheme that told people they were being fined for missing jury duty. Guards have been accused of smuggling phones and other items of contraband into facilities to be used to commit the fraudulent acts.

Prosecutors say that the federal drug trafficking crimes allegedly took place when guards agreed to shield a trafficker who was moving drugs by escorting him while wearing their uniforms. The correctional officers charged with the fraud and drug trafficking acts reportedly work in nine different prisons. Those facing similar accusations of criminal conduct, in Florida or elsewhere, typically increase their chances of success by retaining an experienced criminal attorney who has successfully litigated charges at the federal level.

Source: cnsnews.com, "Feds accuse prison guards of taking bribes, drug trafficking", Kate Brumback, Feb. 13, 2016

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