Sunday, January 19, 2020

GEO Group ‘led reporters’ on wild-goose chase that resulted in misleading report

Joshua Thamarus, 42, was at the center of a report many mistook as a solid link to a neo-Nazi organization, Stormfront. As we previously reported, the guard was made between the two Facebook accounts, where the sergeant was the lone friend of the alias known as ‘Chris McCallaster’ from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

“On Jan. 5, 2020, a story was posted on yc.news regarding an alleged link between Sgt. Joshua Thamarus of George W. Hill Correctional Facility and a neo-Nazi organization, Stormfront. Upon further review, we discovered The GEO Group led our team of investigative reporters on a wild-goose chase, perhaps to turn blame on the hardworking men and women who also suffer under the for-profit private prison corporation: but we intend to right any wrong,” Anthony Loro, Senior Executive Editor of yc.news’ parent company, Original Media Group Corporation said in a statement Wednesday. “The presence of Stormfront in Delaware County is very real and will remain a topic our reporters will rigorously continue covering.”

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Reporters initially reached out to The GEO Group on Dec. 31, 2019, regarding the investigative report into the prison and an alarming discovery that allegedly linked a sergeant to a Facebook page in which he remained the first and lone friend of until the report surfaced on yc.news.

The GEO Group was given the opportunity to verify critical information that would’ve debunked the story, but provided little to no information “except misleading material that led us [yc.news] to pursue a story that was catered to GEO’s liking.”


out of this we learned that a sergeant who embodies the best of America is there to make a positive impact on individuals during their darkest days. As a wise man once said: ‘An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.’

– Anthony Loro, Senior Executive Editor, Original Media Group Corporation
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“Though we pursued every possible avenue to confirm or deny the reporting, it is evident Sgt. Thamarus is not involved in the organization Stormfront, though he was linked to an account showcasing the material,” the statement continued. “The minimal information provided to us from GEO was a failed effort to save face in the midst of a stock plummet. It misled our reporters on a path that was wrong and we will take necessary steps to ensure GEO is held accountable for their actions.”

Thamarus, 42, is described as an outgoing man who helps raise money for various charity organizations.  

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“What that article depicted him to be is the complete opposite of who he is,” a friend of Thamarus told yc.news. “He is the type of Sergeant who would put his life on the line for another human being without any regard for his own life – inmate or staff, a life in general.”

“We extended a rare opportunity by allowing The GEO Group to have over seven days to look into the material and they turned a blind eye,” Senior Executive Editor Anthony Loro released in a statement. “In turn, a horrendous picture was painted of a man who is described as ‘one of the good guys’ we are honored to have serving the County of Delaware.”

“The GEO Group must end it’s decade-long secrecy-pact and start providing media outlets with the information it requires to ensure reports are accurate.

“However, out of this we learned that a sergeant who embodies the best of America is there to make a positive impact on individuals during their darkest days. As a wise man once said: ‘An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.’

We intend to be candid about our errors and expect readers to point them out when we miss them. The GEO Group must meet its obligation to provide the public with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of prison security,” the statement reads.

A source close to the situation previously told yc.news:

“GEO knows they have a problem. There’s a lot of secrecy around George W. Hill Correctional Facility and they play by their own rules,” a source close to the situation said. “Who knows what they’re hiding.” 

“Employees who worked with Reilly directly and had the opportunity to personally witness his conduct may have relevant information,” an insider told yc.news. “If so, they may be called as witnesses. Anybody who worked at the facility can know the dark and dirty secrets – and can be subpoenaed to testify about whether a toxic environment exists there.” 

The retraction on the latest story is solely for the link between Thamarus and Stormfront, according to the statement released by Original Media Group Corp.

“We stand by our previous reports surrounding George W. Hill Correctional Facility and The GEO Group. We continue to stand by our May 25, 2019 story pertaining to the racist e-mail and look forward to successfully defending ourselves in court,” Senior Executive Editor Anthony Loro said.

The last two weeks have witnessed a series of troubling allegations from George W. Hill Correctional Facility inmates and former staff who long held their tongues for fear of retribution of their career, or retaliation. Among those revelations: 

yc.news also reached out to The GEO Group seeking comment days ago, but we didn’t hear back by the time of publication.


This is an ongoing investigative special. Stay with yc.news for the latest updates. Have a story or news tip? Contact our 24/7 newsroom at 833.336.8013 or e-mail our tip line: tips@yc.news

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