After finding out 2 more guards have been arrested at Florida State Prison a Florida Dept of Corr. prison I’m left feeling a mixture of feelings I’m happy they arrested 2 guards and suspended 8 but it leaves me wondering why there’s not a massive amount of guards being arrested throughout Florida especially in the Darren Rainey scalding death and those uncovered by the Miami Heralds independent investigation! I can’t help but wonder if the Dept. of Corr. is attempting to appear to be cleaning house in an effort to convince higher authorities that they are making necessary changes.There is no way the Dept. of Corr. can prove they are doing the right thing unless they arrest and charge all guards who have abused,starved or murdered inmates even if the incidents took place in the last few years.Arresting a few guards is not proving anything,don’t get me wrong I’m thankful but we as citizens need to see that no one gets away with hurting or killing any inmate. 2 other huge problems are that when The Dept of Corr. fires a guard from 1 prison those guards are still allowed to work at another prison and any police dept. and in many case they get promoted I have seen it happen in the Darren Rainey case.This is unacceptable and must stop and secondly another huge problem is alot of times where there are guards who are abusing,setting up,starving,raping and killing inmates there are staff that knows what is going on and these staff alot of times protect the guards well those staff need to be found and charged as accomplices and not ever again be allowed to work at another prison or police Dept.
JULY 1, 2015
2 prison guards busted, 8 suspended in pill ring
In the latest turmoil for the Florida prison system, two guards have been arrested — including a major — for their alleged role in a prescription pill ring. Eight other prison staffers were not arrested but were suspended with pay.
The Bradford County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrests on Wednesday.
Maj. Charles Gregory Combs, 35, a Florida State Prison staff member known as Chicken Hawk, was fired Wednesday shortly after he was booked on felony charges of drug distribution and smuggling. Deputies zeroed in on him after an earlier bust, on June 11, of fellow Florida State Prison corrections officer Dylan Oral Hilliard, 25.
Hilliard, an auto racing enthusiast, was cuffed while tinkering with his race car. He allegedly sold pills to support the hobby, which apparently gave rise to the name of the investigation, Operation Checkered Flag.
The sheriff’s office said it learned that Hilliard would buy large amounts of Oxycodone from people with legitimate prescriptions and then sell the pills on the black market to make money to support his hobby.
For months, the guard was under surveillance by detectives as he sold the drugs from his house and from the prison where he worked in Raiford, the sheriff’s office said.
The six-year DOC employee was arrested after he purchased a “trafficking” amount of Oxycodone during a sting. According to the arrest report, an agent sold Hilliard 43 pills for $940. For that, he faces charges that include trafficking in opium or a derivative. He resigned from the department.
Combs was booked into Bradford County Jail Wednesday on $450,000 bond. In his 14-year history with the department, Combs had one written reprimand for conduct unbecoming in 2003. Hilliard had no such discipline on his record.
During the operation, about 80 people — at least eight of whom are Department of Corrections employees — were identified as buying and/or selling Oxycodone with Hilliard. The investigation of their alleged roles in the operation continues.
“The Department has zero tolerance for the actions taken by Mr. Hilliard and Mr. Combs and will continue to provide investigative assistance and fully cooperate with the requests of the BCSO to ensure that a thorough investigation is completed,” said McKinley Lewis, communications director for the Florida Department of Corrections.
The arrest follows a year in which inmate deaths soared to new heights, dozens of corrections officers were fired, several were arrested for alleged brutal treatment of inmates, the head of the prison system retired and Florida lawmakers held a series of hearings on prison reform.
Although Florida State Prison, home of the state’s Death Row, employed the two guards who were arrested, Lewis said he was aware of no evidence that the pills were being smuggled into the prison.
In a news release, Sheriff Gordon Smith praised the cooperation from different agencies, including the Department of Corrections and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
“Their desire to ferret out those people who do not maintain the highest of professional standards is in lockstep with the expectations here at the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office.