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Former Georgia Correctional Officer, Boyfriend Sentenced To Prison

DUBLIN, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) – A judge sentenced a Georgia Department of Corrections officer and her convicted-felon boyfriend to federal prison for possession of drugs packaged for smuggling into prison according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Judge Dudley H. Bowen sentenced Lekesia Lashea Harden, 23, of Dublin, to 10 years in prison said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

A jury in October 2019 convicted Harden on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Methamphetamine after a two-day trial. Tremayne O. Linder, 31, of Dublin, who pled guilty to the same charge, was previously sentenced to 10 years in prison. After completion of their prison terms, Harden must serve five years on supervised release, and Linder must serve three years.

There is no parole in the federal system.

According to court documents and testimony, Harden worked as a correctional officer for the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) at Wheeler Correctional Facility, a medium-security, privately owned state prison in Alamo, Ga. Linder was on probation for a felony conviction on state charges when officers from the Dublin Police Department and Georgia Department of Community Supervision visited Harden and Linder's residence on April 9, 2018, to serve Linder with an arrest warrant for failing to complete the requirements of probation.

During a search of the residence, officers found 12 small packages, two of them containing methamphetamine and 10 containing marijuana. The marijuana was wrapped in electrical tape with some of the packages containing rolling papers, evidence that the material was packaged for smuggling into prison.

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