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GBI confirms investigation into Clarke County Jail

The GBI confirms there is an ongoing investigation concerning the Clarke County Jail. The Banner Herald reports allegations of officers smuggling illegal substances into the facility. The issue was one of several raised by a former employee who discussed conditions at the jail during a town hall hosted by the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement on March 31st.

According to a statement from the sheriff’s office:

Sheriff Williams and the staff of Clarke County Sheriff’s Office became aware of these allegations in early 2021 and began an internal investigation. Evidence and testimony obtained by internal investigators led us to believe there may be violations that rose to the level of criminal prosecution. Per policy and best practices, Sheriff Williams requested assistant from the GBI as an external and impartial source. The investigation was turned over to the GBI and is still active from our understanding. Please contact the GBI for any further information.

In a document from the GBI, it is reported that the investigation was because of detention officers smuggling illegal substances into the jail for Bloods gang members. The GBI declined to issue any additional information.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!