Prison guard in training arrested on marijuana charges - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Prison guard in training arrested on marijuana charges

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July 24, 2007

Mitchell County-  A prison guard trainee is arrested on the job on drug and counterfeit money charges. The uncertified Autry State Prison officer was on the firing range with fellow officers when he was arrested. This isn't the first time he's been arrested.

The Albany Dougherty Drug Unit issued search warrants for Charlie McCullough's Dougherty County home. Inside they found 103 dime bags of marijuana worth a thousand dollars.

"Actually it was three warrants, one was for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a pistol during the commission of a crime, and possession of a counterfeit 50 dollar bill," said Lt. Craig Dodd, Dougherty County Sheriff's Office.

It was then they learned McCullough was working as a non-certified officer at Autry State Prison even though he had faced misdemeanor charges in 2002. The Georgia Department of Corrections sometimes hires employees with misdemeanor records, but not felonies. McCullough was attempting to become a certified cadet and was observing other guards not watching inmates.

"At the point in time when we hired him he was a former probationer of misdemeanors and in order to give people a job in the community we don't necessarily hold people accountable for misdemeanors as far as coming to work for us," said Warden Thomas Ammons, Autry State Prison.

McCullough's case is now under investigation. Warden Thomas Ammons doesn't think the state prison's hiring practices are flawed. McCullough was hired in June. The warrants were issued later in July.

"We were not familiar that he had a felony record though, that was not made evident to us until Dougherty County called us July the 19th, I believe that they had warrants on him, none of that information was entered into the computer when we pulled the background check on him," said Ammons.

McCullough's status is pending the outcome of the criminal case. McCullough's previous misdemeanor charges according to Ammons included driving with a suspended license and carrying a concealed weapon.

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