Former correctional officer sentenced to 10 years in federal prison

Convicted on one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and methamphetamine, a former Georgia correctional officer was recently sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Her convicted-felon boyfriend pleaded guilty to the same charge and was also sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

On April 9, 2018, officers from the
Dublin Police Department and Georgia Department of Community Supervision
visited the residence of Georgia Department of Corrections officer Lekesia
Lashea Harden and her boyfriend, Tremayne Linder, to serve Linder with an
arrest warrant for failing to complete the requirements of probation.

After searching the residence,
officers found 12 small packages, two containing methamphetamine and 10
containing marijuana. As noted in court documents and testimony, the marijuana
was wrapped in electrical
tape
with some of the packages containing rolling papers, evidence that the
material was packaged for contraband delivery to prison.

As a correctional officer for the
Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC), Harden worked at Wheeler Correctional
Facility, a medium-security, privately owned state prison in Alamo, Georgia. Previously
convicted on drug and theft charges, Linder reportedly spent 571
days
in the Laurens County jail on four felony counts.

In
October 2019, Harden was convicted on one count of
possession with intent
to distribute marijuana and methamphetamine. Prior to Harden’s conviction,
Linder pleaded guilty to the same charge.

“As a correctional officer, Lakesia
Harden knew what she was doing when she engaged in drug trafficking and
associated with Tremayne Linder, a convicted felon,” said U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine.
“Both of them will now spend substantial time in federal prison for their
crimes.”

“Harden’s crime taints every law
enforcement officer who takes an oath to uphold the law,” stated Chris Hacker,
Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “She chose her relationship with a
convicted felon over her oath and now she, too, is a convicted felon and will
be held accountable along with her associate, convicted felon Tremayne Linder.”

“The GDC maintains a zero-tolerance
policy for individuals who choose to ignore their oath and jeopardize our
non-negotiable mission of public safety. We appreciate the support of our
federal partners in our efforts to see that justice is served on this former
officer,” noted GDC Commissioner Timothy Ward. “The actions of this
individual do not reflect the hundreds of officers who are committed each and
every day to ensuring the safety of the public and the safe operations of our
facilities.”

On Thursday, Harden was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison with five years of supervised release. Linden was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison with three years of supervised release.

FALL FUNDRAISER

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