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Brandon Ray, 39, of Jackson, has been sentenced to 200 months in federal prison for smuggling methamphetamine and contraband into a Milledgeville corrections facility.

U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell sentenced Ray on Jan. 8 after he plead guilty to one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

“The smuggling of drugs and contraband into our prison system is a direct threat to the safety of prison employees and prisoners, and undermines the very purposes of incarceration — deterrence, punishment and rehabilitation,” said U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler in a press release. “As reflected by this stiff prison sentence, we will prosecute those engaged in distributing contraband into our prisons to the fullest extent of the law. I want to thank DEA and the Georgia Department of Corrections for investigating this case, and helping stop the movement of a large quantity of contraband into our prison system.”

According to Peeler, two anonymous tipsters reported to authorities that Ray dropped off contraband at the Georgia Correctional Institution (GCI) meat packing plant in Milledgeville on May 6, 2018, after dark. Under surveillance, officers observed Ray enter the GCI plant at 4 a.m. on May 7, 2018, through an unlocked gate. Ray was observed hiding contraband underneath dumpsters next to the GCI building. The defendant was arrested, and officers seized 1,287.2 grams of marijuana, 38 cellphones, 25 cellphone chargers, two Bluetooth ear pieces, a quantity of cigarette tobacco, a digital scale and more than five grams of methamphetamine.

“The punishment in this case clearly fits the crime. This defendant brazenly attempted to smuggle contraband, which included marijuana and methamphetamine, into a prison,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “DEA is committed to keeping dangerous and potentially deadly drugs out of our society, period. Because of the hard work and dedication of investigators in this case, this criminal will have time to think about the crimes he committed.”

“Contraband in the hands of inmates gives them the ability to continue their criminal enterprise, so the support and efforts of our law enforcement partners in stopping those who attempt to introduce these items is paramount in our commitment to public safety,” said GDC Commissioner Timothy C. Ward. “We are pleased to see that justice has been served on this individual for his role in jeopardizing the safe and secure operations of our facilities.”

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Georgia Department of Corrections. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Howard prosecuted the case for the government.

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