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The Warden at Smith State Prison in Glennville has been arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
TGV News confirmed Wednesday that Brian Dennis Adams was booked into the Tattnall County Jail on February 8, 2023.
The news follows rumors of an ongoing GBI investigation into Adams that have floated around the Tattnall County community for weeks. In January, the public reported seeing agents outside the Warden’s home across from Smith State Prison.
Adams, who calls Waycross ‘home,’ faces charges of violating:
- OCGA § 16-10-20 – False Statements and Writings, Concealment of Facts, and Fraudulent Documents in Matters Within Jurisdiction of State or Political Subdivisions.
- This is a felony offense which carries a sentence of 1-5 years in prison and a $1,000 fine.
- OCGA § 16-10-1 Violation of Oath by Public Officer
- This is a felony offense which carries a sentence of 1-5 years in prison.
- In 1988, the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that Violation of Oath by a Public Officer was a lesser included offense of Bribery.
- OCGA § 16-10-2 Bribery
- This is a felony offense which carries a sentence of 1-20 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
- OCGA § 16-14-1 Criminal Attempt — Georgia RICO Act
- Under Georgia law, a person commits the offense of Criminal Attempt when, with intent to commit a specific crime, he or she performs any act which constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of that crime.
- This is a felony offense.
- ‘Criminal Attempt’ charges are subject to a punishment of 1-“half of the maximum” punishment for the actual offense (Violation of the Georgia RICO Act)
- Because violation of the Georgia RICO Act carries a sentence of 1-20 years in prison and a fine up to “the greater of $25,000.00 or three times the amount of any pecuniary value gained by him or her from such violation,” the Criminal Attempt charge would carry a sentence of 1-10 years in prison and up to a $12,500 fine or three times the amount of any pecuniary value gained.
- At this time, the amounts pertaining to pecuniary value are unknown.
Ongoing Problems at Smith State Prison Well-Known to Georgia Department of Corrections
Adams has been Warden at Smith State Prison, one of the state’s most dangerous facilities, since October 2019. Since he took the helm at the prison, the facility has experienced a steady decline. Violence has skyrocketed and conditions for inmates inside have deteriorated at an unprecedented rate. Simultaneously, assaults on staff have increased with little to no disciplinary action taken against offenders. Staffing for the facility remains at an all-time low with some shifts having just one correctional officer to manage all of the dorms alone. The prison itself, which houses some of the state’s most violent offenders, costs Tattnall County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
Multi-Million Dollar Criminal Enterprise for Smuggling Contraband Leaves Multiple People Dead
Even more alarming, in 2021, the GBI exposed an entire criminal enterprise operating from behind the walls of Smith State Prison. The revelations came about in a court hearing related to the case against individuals charged in the murder of 88-year-old Bobby Kicklighter of Glennville. At that time, agents revealed that the murder was actually a botched murder-for-hire plot meant for a Smith SP corrections officer. Inmates believed the C.O., who was aggressive on contraband, lived in a house next door to Kicklighter. Authorities now say the alleged hit man ‘hit’ the wrong house, however, taking the life of Kicklighter.
Months later, the criminal indictment in the same case alleged that some of the same parties were responsible for another murder. The enterprise reportedly killed Jerry Lee Davis of Jesup, a husband and father of three, in his bed next to his child in mid-January 2021. Davis worked for McDaniel Supply Company which delivered to Smith SP on a weekly basis.
The same indictment also shed light on another aggravated assault against a Smith SP C.O., it implicated additional parties who reportedly assisted in the furtherance of the criminal enterprise, and it detailed the multi-million dollar operation in which inmates were responsible for bringing in designer shoes and clothing, diamond and gold jewelry, drugs, and other items into Smith State Prison.
Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence, to include photos and videos of the items, the issues continued. Additionally, Adams remained Warden. GDC’s lack of action prompted questions from a public concerned with the well-being and safety of the nearby Glennville community. Concerns only escalated as ways the prison has directly impacted the public continue on unaddressed.
The parties charged in the murders of Davis and Kicklighter remain behind bars awaiting further adjudication. For two defendants, the state has announced its intention to seek the death penalty. You can read more about those cases here.