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Correctional officer sentenced for distributing marijuana to inmates

From STAFF REPORTS

COLUMBUS — United States Attorney G.F. “Pete” Peterman III, announced that James Royal, age 43, of Cuthbert, was sentenced Thursday Columbus, by the Honorable Clay D. Land, United States District Judge, to serve a total of six months imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, for distributing marijuana to inmates. He will also not be able to seek or obtain further employment in law enforcement.
Royal worked as a correctional officer at the Stewart County Detention Center in Lumpkin. Evidence showed that he smuggled marijuana into the facility to various detainees, who then arranged to have Royal paid via Western Union transfers. Royal collected the money at a convenience store in Cuthbert, after friends or relatives of the detainees transmitted the money.
The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security. Assistant United States Attorney Melvin E. Hyde prosecuted this matter on behalf of the government.