South Georgia Local News

Shanks & Tablets & Phones: GBI Searches Pond Behind Warden’s House at Smith State Prison

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation spent most of Thursday canvassing the pond area behind the Warden’s house at Smith State Prison.

TGV traveled to a neighboring property Thursday afternoon after receiving a tip from a passerby who noticed law enforcement vehicles at the back of the property visible from Highway 301. A drone was placed in the air and a handful of photos and videos were taken.

The Warden’s house is located across the road on Highway 301 on state property. Behind the house is a large pond, which had a small boat, a diver, and agents fishing from the bank of the pond on Wednesday. Next to the pond, a number of items could be seen neatly laid across a tarp. Among the items visible were shanks, tablet devices, and phones, all of which were next to a large hole dug the same day. 

The search follows the arrest of Adams last week on charges of Bribery, Violation of Oath by a Public Officer, Violation of the Georgia RICO Act, and False Statements. You can read more about that here and here.

Under Georgia law, an individual can fly an unmanned aircraft, or drone, over a state prison and take photos and videos so long as no intent to commit a criminal offense exists. ‘Newsgathering purposes’ is protected under that clause found in O.C.G.A.42-5-18(f)(1). The drone was flown by a Part 107 Remote Pilot in unrestricted Class G airspace under 14 CFR Part 107 with due regard to all state and local laws and regulations.

1 Prison, 3 Murders, and 7 Arrests: Here’s What We Know 2 Years Later
Jessica Szilagyi

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Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of TGV News She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement and corrections. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast.' Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

14 Comments

  • Avatar
    Dirty little secret ?????? February 17, 2023

    What (other) secrets are buried or being buried behind the Wardens House?
    “”””” visible were shanks, tablet devices, and phones, all of which were next to a large hole dug the same day.”””””
    So, let me get this straight, our GBI is fishing (stuff) out of the pond ? To dump into a new Hole? Is Lithium poison???? Tablets and Cell phones are both powder by Lithium batteries……. This Case just keeps getting more dirty with every scratch of the surface…. Dose The State of Georgia bury all its dirty little secret on it OWN LAND!!!!! Oh, wait. The Peoples Land…… Time for some real investigation…….. Dig Baby Big…….. FBI? You can’t wash this dirt off any time soon.. Kick the dust at any Georgia Prison and the bones you will uncover tell the true story of the level of corruption……. Governor of Georgia, you are a train wreck.!!! Let’s see just how much integrity you trultruly have….

  • Avatar
    Robert Redford February 18, 2023

    This situation is much bigger than Smith State Prison and Warden Adams. Its only the tip of a corrupt iceberg in the prison industrial complex that has been incarcerating inmates in GA. Illegally. This system places/sells inmates into involuntary servitude and places them in the custody of the GDC as wards of the state. Unfortunately they are doing so for money that is unaccounted for in any budget that you can access through an Open Records Request. This is all about corporate law and Adams knows the ins and outs of it. He can break the system so they won’t allow him to go down. Don’t be surprised when he mysteriously dies or runs to Cuba or some country without an extradition treaty with the U.S. The GA. And federal statutes are privately owned and belong to the state and federal corporations. The only way to break the hold is through contract law created by the UCC which itself is also privately owned. If you want to know more and are willing to expose the corruption and the prison industrial complex that has enslaved 60 thousand GA. Citizens hit me up e-mail address I’ve provided.

    • Avatar
      Greg Lamb February 19, 2023

      Say Bro —- This is what I have been trying to preach for 20 years now but it seems to have always fallen upon Deaf Ears
      ! Please send me the 411 on your plan ? You can contact me on Messenger or Gmail .

    • Avatar
      Carol Streeter May 1, 2023

      You should see all the evidence of open corruption that I have especially in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit.

  • Avatar
    Hoping for Help and REAL change.... February 19, 2023

    If you would like to make a complaint about Smith State Prison or Any Georgia state Prison, first, you should write to the Governor. You should receive a reply to your letter within 28 days. Please include ALL information about any loved ones currently incarcerated within the Georgia Department of Corrections.
    If you are not satisfied with the reply from YOUR Governor,
    rest assured your Loved one (he or she) will be floating in ( The Pond ) !!!!!!!

    Who is over the prisons in GA?
    The Georgia Department of Corrections protects and serves the public by managing offenders and helping to provide a safe and secure environment for the state’s residents. (((((( Not the F–k Inmates ))))))))The GDC is one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. We incarnate everyone. No matter what!!!!!!!! Come to Georgia, we have ways of makeing things go away……..

    • Avatar
      Robert Redford February 23, 2023

      Greg thanks for the reply. You may contact me directly at r3dd3nrodg3r@gmail.com I look forward to sharing with you what I’ve got.

  • Avatar
    Jend February 20, 2023

    The sky is falling on you.

  • Avatar
    Tre February 22, 2023

    All prison do that c.s.p would burn theres and the drugs and tobacco they would sell back to the inmates nothing new

  • Avatar
    We're Hireing...... February 24, 2023

    For State wide release…………….. Immediate Need………. Wanted: Absolutely NO experience needed !
    The Georgia Department of Corrections…… ( Yes, an Oximoron ) Is looking For You…

    Do you Wish to be The Laughing stock of all Law Enforcement ?
    Is your IQ the same number as your shoe size ?
    Did your last application for Garbage Collector tell you that you were (WAY) under qualified ?

    The Georgia Department of Corrections is the Employer for YOU!!!!!!!
    We at the Georgia Department of Corrections are the lowest standard for job placement in the State.
    We need you to be just what you are.
    No idiot is turned away. We Are desperate..
    This Georgia State Jobs Program was specifically designed for brain dead nincompoops…( Just-Like-You)

    Don’t worry about Pay. Your compensation will be the same as Drug Dealers, because you WILL BE a drug dealer.
    Just think, were else can you learn the fine Art of circumnavigating Law Enforcement, learning to distribute money making contraband and prove
    to the world you can hold a job for more then two weeks ? Your side job consists of being a narcissistic bully, egotistical and self-obsorbed human excrement. Walk around the prison with no real authority acting like you’re’ in change. All your clientele will be the very inmates you sell drugs and cell phones too. Sometimes, repossessing ( At a Shakedown ) the very same things you sold to them last week, then resell to others making even MORE money. All under the watchful eyes of the Administration you send kick-backs too. $$$$$$$$$$

    So come join us at the Georgia Department of Corrections today.
    See just how far you can go working with the most corrupt Government.
    GDC- Make MONEY for ME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Even if you can’t cut it as a standard duty guard, we can always use you as a COBRA squad member.
    The (( Goon-Squad )) is always making drug money too. ( cell phones too ) $$$$$$$$

  • Avatar
    Do What?????? You said What????? February 25, 2023

    Shanks, Tablets and Phones,………. oh My!!!!!!!!

    “”””””””Georgia state prison leader addresses concerns at Smith State Prison””””””””
    The head of Georgia’s state prison system believes the firing and arrest of former warden Brian Adams deals a major blow to a contraband operation inside the prison.

    “We do not believe that there are other people involved, as of right now.”. said Tyrone Oliver, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections.

    The New Director of the GDC told WTOC-News in Savannah that its all over now…… Nothing to see here. Don’t you worry your pretty little heads over any of this, the entire Staff (3) of Smith state Prison is on the job and this will never happen again. Just like in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2022, and today………so, No! All is OK and even when we had 48 Cobra Squad Officers Arrested by the FBI in 2016 for delivering Drugs and cell phones to 15 prisons across the State, there was nothing to worry about too……..

    Look, just keep paying your taxes and we will do All the worrying. OK?????? Yay Georgia!!!!!

  • Avatar
    Su February 26, 2023

    Sent on begalf of an inmate::
    In response to what the employee is saying for whatever reason to

    This is to deviate from the actual reasons that has caused murders and every other crime you can think of not only at Smith state prison but every other state prison in Georgia. I’m currently housed at Smith but I’ve been to 9 other facilities within the course of the past 20 years of my current sentence and of the 9 I’ve been to 4 twice. Within this time I’ve spent 6 years and four years at another location. This is just to confirm that I’m as qualified as anyone to speak on the issues recently being brought to the media/ public’s attention.
    With regards to the office saying that they go home each day by the mercy of the inmates doesn’t make it more or less a fact than it has always been over the years… Not just in the state of Georgia but that’s everywhere in the world frankly. The inmates are the majority as the slaves were etc just for a reality check. So whether it’s one office or ten working each unit within a facility they are out numbered and at the mercy of the inmates daily. It is a high risk job as are other jobs that I can name but here is the main reason why the risk are way higher in Georgia.
    It comes down to the sentencing and parole guidelines used by Georgia (factious guidelines when addressing the parole board). Mandatory sentencing ; not having any type of insensitive program implemented for inmates is the main reason and the real solution to the problem. Time to stop treating the symptom and cure the disease. You sentence some to ten or fifteen years and take away hope or anything to strive for then what is there for that person the rest of their sentence? This person Rob, steal, stab, scam until their sentence is over. 10 or 15 years is just that… If someone behave like a model inmate the entire time what is the insensitive to that? If you give someone 10 years to do they do all that is required of them over a period of time, the mandatory sentence They have takes away the chance of any early release. Georgia needs to change a lot within their system but this is the first step that needs to be taken. I’ve done 20 years in prison and have been eligible for parole over six years ago and within the past six years I have not had any disciplinary write ups just for example. I have never seen someone in 20 years being released coming up for parole their first time, so what they say about being eligible after a 14 year period is factious. The reason given to everyone is very rarely based on their conduct throughout there sentence but the most unreasonable of them all ” based on the nature of ones crime” the nature of the crime will never change no matter the years that goes by but the person that committed such act will.
    On the issue of gangs and their influence; they have certainly gotten more numbers over the years but the change suggested is the only thing that will deter a 18 year old with 10-15 years to do…
    There are other issues to address before getting to the issue of gangs. A bigger issue is involuntary servitude (takes us back to insensitive program). The issue of contraband within any prison any state is just that an issue and always have been, some more than others of course. Inmates do free labor in these multi-million dollar industries (something that everyone fail to mention) which I think is the main reason for these sentencing guidelines. From mobile construction to the making of eye glasses, clothing for public servants and license plates that they have contacts to provide for at least four other states.
    The way inmates are fed and the times not just speaking on the amount of time one might eat but the actual time between meal’s. So for the very few that have love ones sending them money to buy the over priced food sold, others find other ways to get something to eat other than what the state provide. Inmates should be paid at least a percentage of minimum wage or if they work in certain industries they should get their time cut or something that leads to an earlier release.

  • Avatar
    Hope. February 28, 2023

    Very Very Very Well written. good For You…. Now if we can get the people in the Gold dome to listen…..

  • Avatar
    Marty. Allen, March 10, 2023

    Last night, no officer’s in our building, for 8 hours, a pipe burst, water ran in all of our cells, no officer to get help, to turn water off, we have 186 violent inmates, no officer’s,,, today the new warden was worried about putting your back don’t talk In the chow hall, not about not having any officer’s to run our dorm, tonight, please don’t believe me, pull up security cameras in K 2,,,K. 1. Dorms, Smith state prison,,,

  • Avatar
    Over worked, unappreciated, way under paid. April 15, 2023

    On April 14 2023 WTOC out of Savannah Georgia reported “New warden brings confidence to staff at Smith State Prison, says Department of Corrections Commissioner ” – WTOC News.
    Well, we did not get the memo. Or asked.
    What we would like to know is ” What Staff ” is he talking about? new addition to staff may last a day or two before becoming realistic in understanding that Smith State Prison is NOT a good career choice….
    No, we did not hold hands in our new Rainbow and Unicorn uniforms, admiring the Yellow painted manhole covers and sing Coom-Bi-Ya. Nore did the inmates throw down their Shanks and Drugs.
    What we did get was longer hours, less food for inmates and double shifts.
    Now we can’t get the inmates fed Breakfast till 10:00 am.
    This New Commistioner is living in a fantasy world…
    What we need is Real Leadership. Not more lies. Hope he had fun at the Police Beer Bash in Glennville.
    Thanks Wayne Dasher.
    Is this why we had nothing to do with the ( POND ) this year?
    Yes, we all are looking for a new job.

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