The FBI arrested 46 current and former correction officers who worked at nine facilities in Georgia Thursday, as a result of a two-year undercover operation.
The indictments revealed "staggering corruption within Georgia Department of Corrections institutions," said John Horn, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.
Among those arrested were five members of an elite squad aimed at busting up drug dealing in prison, called the Cobra unit. Also rounded up in the bust were two civilians and one inmate, CNN reports.
The probe found that prison guards and staff were smuggling contraband such as liquor, tobacc,o and cell phones into the cell blocks for money. Inmates used the illegal cell phones to commit wire fraud, money laundering, and identity theft.
Officers are also charged with using their badges to facilitate drug deals on either side of the prison wall. The trafficking is said to include multiple kilos of cocaine and meth in exchange for thousands of dollars in bribe money.