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Buford prison employee sentenced in drug smuggling case
Kitchen worker gets 41 months
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A kitchen employee at Phillips State Prison in Buford was sentenced for her role in a drug-smuggling scheme with inmates, according to court documents.

Charonda Edwards, of Riverdale, was sentenced to 41 months in prison Tuesday. She had been charged in September 2015 with one count of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana and one count of interfering with commerce by extortion.

Edwards was the first defendant to plead guilty in February 2016 in a “series of prison corruption cases that charged over 80 other defendants,” according to the U.S. District Court, which included Georgia Department of Corrections employees, inmates and recent parolees.

An attempt to reach Edwards’ attorney for comment Friday was unsuccessful.

According to the U.S. attorney, Edwards worked with inmates in 2014 at Phillips State Prison to smuggle drugs into the prison kitchen.

“Edwards then hid the drugs in the kitchen for inmates to retrieve and then sell to other prison inmates,” according to a U.S. District Court news release. “The inmates placed orders and communicated with Edwards using contraband cell phones that had also been smuggled into the prison and paid bribes to her using prepaid debit cards.”

The U.S. Attorney also said in a news release Edwards would alert the inmates to lockdowns and searches.

Upon release, Edwards will be on three years of supervised release.

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