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More than 40 guards across nine Georgia prisons are facing federal drug and bribery charges as part of a sweeping undercover operation.

Prosecutors say the guards offered protection in exchange for thousands of dollars in bribes, and wore their uniforms to avoid getting caught.

On Shepard Smith Reporting, Trace Gallagher reported that prison guards thought they were working with a drug dealer from a Mexican cartel who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.

"The indictments say the guards weren't just smuggling drugs and contraband into the prisons, they were using their status as corrections officers to protect various drug operations all across the state of Georgia," Gallagher said.

"Five of the suspects were part of an elite tactical unit that works to recover drugs and other contraband from inside the prisons."

Watch the report above.

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