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Georgia detention officers indicted for alleged contraband deliveries

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Four Fulton County officers allegedly smuggled banned items to prisoners
  • The officers accepted nearly $30,500 for their actions, according to the U.S. attorney's office
  • U.S. attorney claims: "They abandoned their oaths and sold their badges by taking payoffs"

(CNN) -- Four Fulton County, Georgia, detention officers were charged with extortion Thursday for allegedly accepting payment to deliver banned items to Fulton County Jail inmates.

Officers Brian Anthony, 30; Akil Scott, 31; Derick Frazier, 31; and Fulton County Deputy Sheriff Marvie Dingle, Jr, 34, allegedly accepted payments to deliver various illegal drugs and other non-illegal -- but banned -- items to inmates in the jail in Atlanta, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office for the northern district of Georgia.

"As law enforcement officers employed at the Fulton County Jail, these men took an oath to serve and protect the public," said U.S. Attorney Sally Yates. "Instead, they abandoned their oaths and sold their badges by taking payoffs to smuggling contraband to jail inmates and facilitate illegal drug deals on the outside."

Anthony, Dingle and Scott are charged with accepting money to deliver cocaine and marijuana both to inmates inside the jail and to outside recipients, said the statement. Frazier is charged with accepting $700 in February to deliver telephones and cigarettes to an inmate inside the jail.

"We are committed to vigorously prosecuting corrupt law enforcement officers who betray the public and their fellow law enforcement officers," said Yates.

The officers were in court Thursday afternoon for hearings, and CNN was unable to determine whether they had retained attorneys.

Four civilians also were also charged in connection with the officers' casees, the statement said.

Collectively, the four officers accepted $30,500, according to the U.S. attorney's statement.

"The majority of employees at the sheriff's office are dedicated, hard-working and honest people," said Ted Jackson, Fulton County Sheriff. "The small percentage who disgraced the sheriff's office,are conflicted about which side of the bars they belong. It is our position to make that decision for them."

If convicted, Anthony could face a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, with a fine of $10,000. Dingle, Scott and Frazier face shorter prison sentences and lower fines for their various alleged crimes, said the statement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Gray is prosecuting the case.