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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 5, 2018

Former correctional officer charged with smuggling narcotics into Hays State Prison

ROME, Ga. - Mark Edward Jeffery, a former Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) officer, who allegedly brought alcohol, drugs, and contraband cellphones into Hays State Prison, was arraigned on federal charges of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. 

“Jeffery failed to uphold his duty as a correctional officer when he allegedly smuggled illegal contraband into prison,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “Correctional officers who smuggle contraband into prisons not only betray the institutions they protect, but also jeopardize the safety of fellow correctional officers and inmates.”

“It is imperative that our correctional facilities are safe for both inmates and staff,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “When contraband is brought into prisons it jeopardizes that safety. And when it is a corrections officer who brings in that contraband, violating his or her sworn duty, it is our job to vigorously investigate and hold them accountable.”

“We are committed to ridding our prisons of individuals who bring discredit to the badge, and we are proud of those officers who work with integrity and vigilance in stopping the introduction of contraband into our facilities,” said GDC Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier.  “Our appreciation for the continued support of our federal law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is steadfast, as they help ensure that justice is served on those who choose a path of dishonor.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: On February 7, 2018, Jeffery worked as a correctional officer at Hays State Prison in Trion, Georgia.  One of Jeffery’s fellow correctional officers observed a large rectangular object, wrapped in black electrical tape, hidden in Jeffery’s beverage container.  The fellow officer notified a supervisor about possible contraband.

Later that day, the prison’s chief of security searched Jeffery’s person and belongings, where he found one glass pipe, four cellular phone chargers, four smartphones, two bags containing 190 suspected ecstasy pills, a plastic bag with methamphetamine, and a water bottle with alcohol.  

Mark Edward Jeffery, 33, of Fairmount, Georgia, was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 2, 2018.  Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Brock Brockington is prosecuting the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.gov.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated October 5, 2018