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Georgia prison guard charged with taking bribes for cigarettes

An indictment says Michael Kerry took $5,790 to smuggle cigarettes into the McRae Correctional Institution

A federal corrections officer is accused of taking more than $5,000 in bribes to smuggle cigarettes into a prison in Telfair County.

Michael Kerr was indicted this week by a federal grand jury in Dublin.

He's charged with bribery, taking contraband into a prison and making false statements to investigators.

According to the indictment, Kerr accepted a dozen bribes between April 2018 and this January, totaling $5,790, to bring contraband into the McRae Correctional Facility.

In January, the indictment says, he tried to provide cigarettes to a McRae inmate.

And in April, he allegedly lied to a federal investigator about the bribes.

He faces up to 15 years in prison on the bribery charge. No trial date has been set.

Barry Paschal, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Savannah, says Kerry is suspected only of smuggling cigarettes into the prison.

The McRae prison is run by the CoreCivic company under contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and houses around 2,000 non-citizen inmates serving prison terms.

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