Former prison guard sentenced in drug smuggling scheme

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File) (Chris Carlson, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – A former Florida state prison guard has been sentenced to three years and five months in federal prison for participating in a scheme to smuggle drugs into a facility.

Troy Alexander Cole, 28, Fort Myers, was sentenced Tuesday in Fort Myers federal court, according to court records. He pleaded guilty in April to attempted distribution of methamphetamine and MDMA.

According to court documents, Cole worked as a correctional officer at the Charlotte Correctional Institution in Punta Gorda. In June 2021, on three separate occasions, Cole agreed to smuggle methamphetamine or MDMA into the prison and provide the contraband to an inmate, officials said. He agreed to do so in exchange for payments of $400, $1,000 and $4,000, respectively.

On each occasion, Cole picked up a package containing what he believed were the controlled substances and then entered the prison, prosecutors said. Cole would then conceal the packages containing the purported controlled substances and notify the inmate that they were available for retrieval.