Prison guard convicted of drug possession with intent to distribute

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DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- A Georgia Department of Corrections officer was convicted on federal drug charges after a two-day trial in U.S. District Court.

23-year-old Lekesia Lashea Harden, was convicted on one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Methamphetamine. The charge carries a minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison with no parole, and includes probation after the prison sentence.

Harden, who worked as a corrections officer at Wheeler Correctional Facility, a medium-security, was indicted along with her boyfriend, 30-year-old Tremayne O. Linder, who recently pled guilty to the same charge.

“A corrections officer undoubtedly understood the potential risk of associating with a convicted felon and engaging in drug trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine. “She now faces substantial time inside a prison cell as the price for her inexcusable violation of the law.”

Officers from the Dublin Police Department and Georgia Department of Community Supervision visited Harden and Linder’s home in 2018, to serve Linder with an arrest warrant for probation violation. During a search, officers found 12 packages, two containing methamphetamine and 10 containing marijuana. The marijuana was wrapped in electrical tape with some of the packages containing rolling papers, a sign that the material was packaged for contraband delivery to prison.

“Harden decided that her relationship with a convicted felon was more important than the oath she swore as a corrections officer,” said Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta Chris Hacker. “Unfortunately, her decision taints every law enforcement officer who upholds their oath daily. But they can rest assured that she is being held accountable.”