Former Georgia correctional officer sentenced to federal prison for smuggling drugs into state prison
ROME, Ga. – Tiffany Cook, a former Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) officer, pleaded guilty to being paid by a prison inmate to smuggle methamphetamine and marijuana into Hays State Prison located in Trion, Georgia.
“Correctional officers compromise the safety of our nation’s prisons when they trade their badges for money,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Prisons are supposed to be places where additional criminal activity is impossible, but this notion breaks down when officers participate in the crimes.”
“Cook not only betrayed the institution she was sworn to protect, she also betrayed every hard working corrections officer who upholds their oath every day,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Removing corrupt staff who violate their sworn duties as government employees and jeopardize the safety of fellow officers and inmates remains one of our main priorities.”
“The GDC does not tolerate actions of individuals who choose to bring discredit to the values of our agency and put their fellow Officers at risk,” said Timothy C. Ward, interim commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections. “We appreciate the support of our federal partners in ensuring that justice will be served, and we are proud of those Officers involved who were diligent in stopping the introduction of dangerous contraband into one of our facilities.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: On May 17, 2010, Cook began working with the GDC as a correctional officer. Beginning in April 2017, Cook served as a correctional officer at Hays State Prison. Hays State Prison is located in Trion, Georgia in Chattooga County. The facility opened in 1990 and currently holds approximately 1,680 male prisoners.
In early July 2018, the GDC received information from an inmate that Cook was being paid to smuggle illegal drugs into the prison. On July 9, 2018, Cook arrived at Hays State Prison to report for her regularly-scheduled shift. As Cook approached the time clock, correctional officers asked Cook to walk into a conference room. Following the request, Cook stated that she felt ill and wanted to leave the prison. Correctional officers detained and ultimately searched Cook.
Pursuant to their search, correctional officers recovered more than 118 grams of actual methamphetamine (with a purity of 90%), and more than 150 grams marijuana from Cook’s vaginal cavity and bra. After seizing the methamphetamine and marijuana, correctional officers placed Cook under arrest.
Tiffany Cook, 34, of Summerville, Georgia, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Harold L. Murphy to seven years, eight months in prison to be followed by five years supervised release. On October 11, 2018, Cook was charged in a criminal information with one count of possession, with intent to distribute, a controlled substance.
This case was investigated by the FBI and Georgia Department of Corrections.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey W. Davis, Chief of the Public Integrity and Special Matters Section, prosecuted 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.