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Press Release

Former Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty To Distribution Of Marijuana

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

G.F. Peterman, III, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces James Royal, age 43, of Cuthbert, Georgia pled guilty September 20, 2016 to distribution of marijuana in front of the Honorable Clay D. Land, United States District Court Judge, in Columbus, Georgia.

Mr. Royal was a corrections officer at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Lumpkin, Georgia. Between November 2015 and January 2016, Mr. Royal smuggled marijuana into the prison and sold it to the inmates. He received payment from inmates, and/or friends of inmates, via Western Union. The money was sent to a convenience store in Cuthbert, Georgia, where Mr. Royal would pick it up.

Sentencing has been set for January 17, 2017. Mr. Royal faces up to five years in prison.

The case was investigated by Department of Homeland Security. United States Attorney Mel Hyde is prosecuting the case on behalf of the Government. 

Questions concerning this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.

Updated September 21, 2016

Drug Trafficking