Idaho correctional officer pleads guilty to drug trafficking crimes

Posted at 12:31 PM, Dec 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-14 14:31:43-05

BOISE — A third former Idaho Department of Correction officer is pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges after a sting involving FBI agents posing as drug dealers.

Former IDOC officer Richard McCollough, of Boise, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two counts of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to police. McCollough pleaded guilty, following a written plea agreement filed with the Court.

According to police, McCollough was one of four correctional officers charged with drug trafficking and related crimes stemming from an investigation initiated by FBI. The Idaho Department of Correction requested the investigation, to address concerns of corruption among correctional officers. For his two guilty pleas, McCollough faces at least 30 years in prison up to life.

McCollough is the third defendant to plead guilty, say police. Previously, Robert Wallin and Timothy Landon, both of Boise, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to aid and abet drug trafficking crimes. According to police, the fourth defendant, Erik Thompson, is charged with conspiracy to aid and abet drug trafficking crimes, distribution of cocaine, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of those drug trafficking offenses.

According to court records, McCollough is accused of joining in a conspiracy to assist what he believed to be a large-scale drug organization. Police say the drug dealers he was working for, however, were undercover FBI agents. McCollough admitted to carrying a handgun while he provided security and assisted in weighing 6 kilograms of cocaine during the sting operation, say police. Court records show, McCollough also admitted to carrying a handgun on a separate occasion while delivering 8.6 kilograms of cocaine to an undercover officer as part of the sting operation.

Officials say, no drugs were in the sole possession of the defendants, and no drugs or other contraband were brought into any correctional facility as part of these operations.

In addition to the FBI, the Boise Police Department, the Meridian Police Department, IDOC’s Special Investigations Unit, and the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office participated in the investigation.