Ga. Detention Officer Allegedly Supplied Drugs To Inmates

A DeKalb County detention officer is off the job Wednesday following allegations that she supplied contraband to an inmate. Dianne Hill Simpson, 34, of Stone Mountain, allegedly accepted money to provide drugs to inmate Naquan Hart.

Hart was jailed on felony drug charges in October 2009 and now faces an additional felony charge.

Sheriff Thomas Brown said his agency has faced several challenges within the last nine months, with the arrest and/or firing of five detention officers, which includes Simpson, and one deputy sheriff.

“We conduct background checks on all persons hired. Even with prescreening that includes psychological profiles, though, it is obviously difficult in some cases to predict the behavior of an employee encountering the pressures of certain work environments,” said Brown.

Supplying contraband to inmates is a felony offense in Georgia and punishable by one to five years in prison if convicted. Simpson is charged with violation of oath by a public officer.

“I sincerely hope that others in law enforcement – and certainly those representing the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office — will learn from the mistakes of others and realize that errant and illegal behaviors are not tolerated,” Brown said, “and that we all must face the consequences of our decisions and actions.”


Two Fired After Alleged Inmate Assault

WOODBINE, GA — Two Camden County jail guards have been fired for not adequately supervising a male inmate who is accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate.

An internal investigation found that Hope Roberts and Melissa Harris were assigned to supervise an area where inmate Devin Berryhill was mopping a floor. During that time, sheriff Tommy Gregory says Beryhill sexually assaulted a female inmate.

At the time the female inmate was restrained to a chair and Gregory says Beryhill inappropriately touched the woman twice.

Beryhill is charged with two counts of misdemeanor sexual assault. He had been in jail for a probation violation from previous shoplifting charges.

The case is now being handled by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.


Corrections officer arrested on child porn charges

Cobb County police have arrested a Bleckley County corrections officer for distributing child pornography.

The suspect, Jason Shane Price, 31, of Byron, is being held by the Bleckley County Sheriff’s Office.

Recent headlines:

   • Cobb County news

According to Cobb police, one of their detectives posed as a 13-year-old girl for an undercover operation that began in March. The detective received from Price sexually explicit messages and images, and videos depicting child sex abuse.


Former Polk County Jail Sergeant Charged with Using Excessive Force

ATLANTA, GA—JOSHUA DAVID LOWE, 25, of Aragon, Georgia, a former sergeant at the Polk County Jail, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a felony charge of using excessive force against an inmate. LOWE is scheduled to make an initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Walter E. Johnson in Rome on Monday, June 1, 2009, at 10 a.m.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, “The great majority of Georgia’s detention officers serve with honor and courage, often under trying circumstances as they guard the inmates in our jails and prisons. But any officers who abuse their authority by violently assaulting inmates violate the Constitution and face going to prison as inmates.” Continue reading

GBI: Three arrested in illegal operation at correctional facility


SUMTER COUNTY, GA (WTVM) – Special agents and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Department arrested three people for attempting to sale marijuana across guard lines to inmates at the Sumter County Correctional Institution.

Felecia Champion, 22, Travis McGruder, 23, and Simone Boone, 19 were arrested on Rucker Street off Georgia Highway 19.  Nearby, inmates from the Sumter County Correctional Institution conducted a work detail.  

We’re told  the suspects allegedly attempted to deliver marijuana.

On Wednesday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested correctional officer, 34-year-old James Cooper, for his alleged “violation of oath.”

Cooper is suspected of transporting “contraband” across guard lines at the Sumter County Correctional Institution.  Special agents executed a search warrant at his home on Beauchamp Road in Smithville, Georgia.

Cooper had been a correctional officer for about five years. 

Special agents say the investigation is on-going. News Leader 9 is following this story. We’ll bring you the latest information as soon as it becomes available


Former deputy jailer arrested

AUGUSTA, Ga.—A former Richmond County deputy jailer was arrested Friday morning after he flashed a badge to get through security at the Municipal Building.

Officers say Jamie Brinson, 26, was being booked into the jail on a charge of impersonating an officer.

Investigators say Brinson was in the process of being certified as a peace officer when he was fired January 22, 2009.

Marshals who work security at the Municipal Building noticed he flashed the badge on his belt to go through the security setup in the building lobby. Then someone remembered he had been terminated.

Investigators say he did turned in his badge when he was fired. This badge may have been another one he had purchased when he was employed and then kept. Brinson was not armed in Friday’s incident.


Ex-Guard Accused Of Beating Inmates

ATLANTA — Federal authorities have charged a former Fulton County Jail guard with violating the civil rights of two inmates who were beaten, one of whom died.


Officials say 41-year-old Curtis Jerome Brown of Lithonia was arrested Friday on charges of civil rights violations, making false statements and obstructing a federal investigation.


The criminal complaint says an FBI agent claimed Brown and two other staff members beat a mentally ill inmate in his cell on March 18, 2008. The inmate was later prounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital.


The FBI affidavit says Brown handcuffed another inmate and beat him in August 2007, and falsified reports after the prisoner was found by another deputy, crying and bleeding and in need of medical care.


“This is not the behavior of most of the employees, this behavior is isolated and in these cases we will do whatever we can to protect the rights of the inmates housed at Fulton County Jail,” Sheriff Ted Jackson told Channel 2 Action News reporter Jodie Fleischer.


Two fired after Jackson jail suicide

Jailers failed to keep watch over inmate, probe finds

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has fired two jailers for not keeping watch over a suicidal inmate who hanged himself in the county jail last month.

Jailers Radford Stanley Jr. and Donald Shane Brown did not check the inmate every 15 minutes as required by jail policy, said sheriff’s Maj. David Cochran.

They were dismissed Nov. 24, he said.

Ricky Finch, 50, of Winder, hanged himself with his socks in a segregated cell in the Jackson County Jail the evening of Nov. 12, after he told jailers he was thinking about hurting himself.

The jailers documented that they had checked Finch every 15 minutes, but when investigators reviewed jail surveillance video, they found “discrepancies in the physical checks,” Cochran said.

Agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation looked into the matter and will forward their findings to prosecutors to decide whether to bring criminal charges, Cochran said Friday.

Arcade police officers arrested Finch the afternoon of his suicide on charges of having an open container of alcohol, public drunkenness and theft by taking, Cochran said.

“When he was booked in, he did indicate that he wanted to harm himself, so he was put in a segregated cell,” Cochran said.

Margaret Finch was both tearful and grateful when she learned the jailers who were supposed to be watching her son had been fired.

“Oh, I am just so happy to hear that,” the Winder woman said. “We’ve been waiting and waiting to see what would happen. This news is a relief in a way, because it just didn’t make sense what happened.”

The jailers should be held responsible, she said.

“I wouldn’t want this to happen to anybody else, because prisoners have rights, too,” Margaret Finch said.

She said her family has not ruled out the possibility they will sue the county.”We need to find out what the neglect was and how it was done,” Margaret Finch said.

Finch had worked as a trim carpenter for new home construction. In addition to his mother, he is survived by his father, two sons and a sister.

One of the fired jailers, Stanley, will make a case to get his job back at an administrative hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Cochran said.

Brown has not appealed.


Newton Co. Detention Officer Arrested for Stealing from Inmates

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. (MyFOX ATLANTA) – A Newton County detention officer was released from jail Thursday after being arrested for allegedly stealing from an inmate.  Thirty-one-year-old Rededria English worked for the Newton County jail for three years, but now she is without a job and facing criminal charges.

English was arrested Monday at work after investigators said she arranged to use an inmates’ child support debit card. Investigators said English agreed to deposit cash into the inmates’ jail account but held on to the card for her personal gain.

Video: Newton Co. Detention Officer Arrested for Stealing from Inmates
FOX 5’s George Franco Reports

“There were two separate times and it was a total of 280 dollars,” said Investigator Sharon Stewart of the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

English was fired and now she faces charges of theft by taking, financial transaction card fraud and violation of oath by a public officer.

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office said detention officers weren’t supposed to handle an inmates money and that’s why there is an ATM inside the jail lobby behind bars.

Cash can be deposited or withdrawn by inmates or their friends and family.

English was out of jail on bond Thursday, but investigators said when she was arrested she was held at a different jail for her own safety.


Ex-Prison Guard Sentenced For Taking Bribes

A former guard at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta has been sentenced to a year in prison for taking hundreds of dollars in bribes to smuggle cigarettes to an inmate and allowing him to use a cell phone. Prosecutors say 30-year-old Andru Wallace of Lithonia, who worked at the penitentiary from 2001 until 2007, also must serve two years of supervised release after his prison term. He was convicted in March. Prison regulations prohibit inmates from having cigarettes or using a cell phone. The inmate reported in December 2006 that he paid Wallace $600 to bring him the contraband. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says that during an undercover investigation, Wallace accepted two $500 bribes.


Deputy Jailed On Rape, Kidnapping Charges

Jason Bill Abducted Woman From Restaurant, Investigators Say


MARIETTA, Ga. — A Cobb County sheriff’s deputy was fired Tuesday after he was charged with rape and kidnapping.


Investigators said Jason Anthony Bill, 37, abducted a woman from a restaurant Monday night and sexually assaulted the victim at his apartment.


Bill was also charged with aggravated sodomy, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and battery.


Ex detention Officer, Police: Man Wanted To Have Sex With Teen Girl

WALTON COUNTY, Ga. — A southeast Georgia man has been arrested and charged after police said he drove to Walton County to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.

 Loganville police arrested Joshua Nelson, 23, after an online undercover investigation.

 Police said Nelson had several sexual online chats with a detective he thought was a 14-year-old girl. Investigators waited for Nelson in Loganville after he drove from Midway, Ga., according to authorities. Police said Nelson brought a dozen roses and a box of condoms with him and they believe he intended to have sex with the girl.

 Authorities said Nelson was terminated as a detention officer in Bryan County six months ago.

 Chief Michael McHugh told Channel 2 his department is seeing more and more cases like this one.

 “It’s completely beyond me why they continue to do this knowing we are, and not only us, but other agencies are actively investigating these types of crimes. And we intend to continue,” said McHugh.

 Nelson was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor. He is in the Walton County Jail.


Prison Guard In Jail Accused Of Having Sex With An Inmate

FORSYTH, Ga. — A prison guard is behind bars after being charged with five felonies, including having sex with an inmate and trying to sell marijuana to work.


Officers charged 25-year-old Heather Nicole Hunnicutt on Wednesday with sexual assault against a person in custody, crossing guard lines with contraband, possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.


She is being held in the Monroe County jail on $50,000 bond.


Authorities say they were tipped off by inmates after hearing someone was smuggling drugs into Al Burruss State Prison.


Hunnicutt had been working for the Georgia Department of Corrections for about a year. The prison, located off Interstate 75 just north of Forsyth, houses 300 male medium security inmates, a boot camp and a juvenile facility.


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