Former correctional officer sentenced to 10 years in federal prison

“As a correctional officer, Lakesia Harden knew what she was doing when she engaged in drug trafficking and associated with Tremayne Linder, a convicted felon."

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Convicted on one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and methamphetamine, a former Georgia correctional officer was recently sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Her convicted-felon boyfriend pleaded guilty to the same charge and was also sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

On April 9, 2018, officers from the Dublin Police Department and Georgia Department of Community Supervision visited the residence of Georgia Department of Corrections officer Lekesia Lashea Harden and her boyfriend, Tremayne Linder, to serve Linder with an arrest warrant for failing to complete the requirements of probation.

After searching the residence, officers found 12 small packages, two containing methamphetamine and 10 containing marijuana. As noted in court documents and testimony, the marijuana was wrapped in electrical tape with some of the packages containing rolling papers, evidence that the material was packaged for contraband delivery to prison.

As a correctional officer for the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC), Harden worked at Wheeler Correctional Facility, a medium-security, privately owned state prison in Alamo, Georgia. Previously convicted on drug and theft charges, Linder reportedly spent 571 days in the Laurens County jail on four felony counts.

In October 2019, Harden was convicted on one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and methamphetamine. Prior to Harden’s conviction, Linder pleaded guilty to the same charge.

“As a correctional officer, Lakesia Harden knew what she was doing when she engaged in drug trafficking and associated with Tremayne Linder, a convicted felon,” said U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine. “Both of them will now spend substantial time in federal prison for their crimes.”

“Harden’s crime taints every law enforcement officer who takes an oath to uphold the law,” stated Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “She chose her relationship with a convicted felon over her oath and now she, too, is a convicted felon and will be held accountable along with her associate, convicted felon Tremayne Linder.”

“The GDC maintains a zero-tolerance policy for individuals who choose to ignore their oath and jeopardize our non-negotiable mission of public safety. We appreciate the support of our federal partners in our efforts to see that justice is served on this former officer,” noted GDC Commissioner Timothy Ward. “The actions of this individual do not reflect the hundreds of officers who are committed each and every day to ensuring the safety of the public and the safe operations of our facilities.”

On Thursday, Harden was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison with five years of supervised release. Linden was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison with three years of supervised release.

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