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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Former Georgia Department of Corrections officer pleads guilty to smuggling drugs into 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.

“Georgia correctional officers serve every day, faithfully executing their duties with integrity,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “Cook, however, violated the oath of office she swore to uphold and the law when she smuggled drugs into prison.  She must now account for her betrayal of trust.”

“It is very troubling that a sworn officer is willing to sell her badge for personal payoff, putting her fellow officers and inmates safety in jeopardy,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Cook not only betrayed the institution she was sworn to protect, she also betrayed every hard working corrections officers who uphold their oaths every day.”

“We are pleased to see that justice has been served on this individual, who chose to violate her oath and put other staff at risk by introducing contraband into our facility,” said Gregory C. Dozier, GDC Commissioner.  “Our special agents are to be commended for their work in identifying the individual leading to her prosecution, and we are also proud of our officers for their diligence. The commitment to public safety by all of our law enforcement partners is paramount in maintaining safe and secure prisons, and we appreciate their support.”

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.

Sentencing for Tiffany Cook, 34, of Summerville, Georgia, is scheduled for December 21, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Harold L. Murphy.  Cook was charged in a criminal information with one count of possession, with intent to distribute, a controlled substance on October 11, 2018.   

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

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey W.  Davis, Chief of the Public Integrity and Special Matters Section, 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 11, 2018