AP NEWS

Former Idaho prison guards sentenced in corruption case

February 28, 2019

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Two former Idaho Department of Correction officers were sentenced this week for taking part in what they believed to be a drug trafficking operation inside prisons.

The “drug trafficking operation” was actually a corruption investigation carried out by the FBI at the request of the Idaho Department of Correction.

The U.S. attorney’s office says 37-year-old Richard McCollough was sentenced to eight years and one month in prison after pleading guilty in December to two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. His 36-year-old co-defendant Timothy Landon was sentenced to three years and five months after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to aid and abet drug trafficking.

Both of the former guards will serve three years of supervised release following their prison terms.

Two other corrections officers were also caught up in the corruption investigation by FBI officers who posed as drug dealers and recruited the guards.

Erik Thompson and Robert Wallin were convicted of participating in the trafficking organization they believed was moving large quantities of drugs into Idaho prisons. The men also counted large amounts of cash they were told would be delivered to the drug ring.

The sting operation was launched after the Idaho correction department asked the FBI to investigate “concerns for corruption among IDOC correctional officers,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Wallin was sentenced to three years in prison, and Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

No drugs or other contraband were brought into any IDOC facility as part of the sting operation.

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An earlier version of this story was corrected to show that no drugs or contraband were brought into any Idaho Department of Correction facility in connection with the corruption investigation.