Federal authorities have obtained indictments that allege two groups of inmates used cell phones inside state prisons to run a drug ring across the metro area and perpetrate fraud schemes against individuals outside the prison walls.
Of the 12 people indicted, two are former Department of Corrections employees, four are current inmates and three are inmates who were granted parole in 2014. The alleged crime rings were run out of Phillips State Prison in Gwinnett County and Valdosta State Prison.
In the case involving Valdosta State Prison, one inmate, Donald Howard Hinley, ordered a hit against an inmate he believed was cooperating with authorities, said the indictment, which was unsealed Thursday.
“Hinley ordered his associate to ‘shoot every one’ of the witness’ family members and said, ’ … pop them all off, kids, grandmamas, daddies, I don’t give a (expletive), right?” the indictment said.
But immediately after law enforcement learned of Hinley’s plan, the cooperating inmate was placed in protective custody, the indictment said.
Contraband cell phones smuggled into the state prison system are a menace, corrections officials have said. They are used to coordinate attacks inside prison and allowing inmates to continue their criminal activity outside of prison.
Small town of Meigs in lots of legal trouble
The City of Meigs’ liability insurance will be canceled effective Nov.15. This action could potentially put each individual taxpayer in the city on the hook for any judgments facing the litigation-riddled city, according to Meigs City Attorney Tommy Coleman.
Coleman went on to say, “Meigs needs to be abolished. I don’t see it getting any better.”
The city has been brought to this point primarily by the actions of its confrontational and controversial mayor, according to City Manager Sidney Perry.
Perry said the cancellation stems from six lawsuits filed against Meigs that total over $200,000 and involve Mayor Linda Harris. The lawsuit allegations are as follows:
— The mayor caused the former police chief “undue humiliation and damage to reputation.” Cost to Meigs, $45,000.
Read about more lawsuits filed against Meigs at the Thomasville Times-Enterprise