Brandon Ray, 39, pleaded guilty to a count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Man tried to smuggle contraband into Georgia prisons through meatpacking plant

A Jackson man was sentenced last week to 16 years and eight months in federal prison after trying to sneak a large amount of drugs and contraband into state prisons through a meatpacking plant, authorities said.

Brandon Ray, 39, pleaded guilty to a count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia said in a news release. His 200-month prison sentence was set Thursday.

On May 6, 2018, Ray entered the Georgia Correctional Industries (GCI) meatpacking plant in Milledgeville by going through an unlocked gate about 4 a.m., the release said. Two anonymous tipsters reported Ray’s plan to authorities before it took place.

Ray was caught hiding contraband underneath dumpsters next to the GCI building, the release said. Authorities arrested Ray and found nearly three pounds of marijuana, a small amount of meth, cigarette tobacco, a digital scale, 38 cellphones, 25 cellphone chargers and two Bluetooth earpieces.

The GCI is a Georgia Department of Corrections-supported authority that employs about 1,000 inmates as part of a rehabilitation effort, according to its website.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case with assistance from the GDC and the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.

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