Third Idaho correctional officer guilty in FBI sting

Posted at 3:23 PM, Dec 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-06 17:23:03-05

Former Idaho Department of Correction correctional officer Richard McCollough, 37, of Boise, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of possessing a gun in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to U.S. Attorney Bart Davis..  

McCollough pleaded guilty in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale pursuant to a written plea agreement filed with the Court.

McCollough was one of four IDOC correctional officers charged with drug trafficking and related crimes stemming from an investigation initiated by the FBI -- at IDOC's request -- to address concerns of corruption among IDOC correctional officers.  For his two guilty pleas, McCollough faces at least thirty years in prison up to life.  His sentencing is set for February 25, 2019.

McCollough is the third defendant to plead guilty in this case. Robert Wallin, 36, and Timothy Landon, 36, both of Boise, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to aid and abet drug trafficking crimes. 

Wallin will be sentenced on February 12, 2019.  Landon will be sentenced on February 26, 2019.

The fourth defendant, Erik Thompson, 38, of Star, is scheduled for trial on February 11..  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 joined in a conspiracy of what he believed to be a large-scale drug organization.  The drug dealers he was working for, however, were undercover FBI agents," according to a news release from Davis' office. "McCollough admitted to carrying a handgun while he provided security --  and assisted in weighing six kilograms of cocaine during the sting operation.  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."

No drugs were in the sole possession of the defendants, and no drugs or other contraband were brought into any IDOC facility as part of these operations, the release stated,

The Boise Police Department, the Meridian Police Department, IDOC's Special Investigations Unit, and the Ada County Prosecutor's Office helped in the investigation.