Third IDOC correctional officer pleads guilty to crimes stemming from FBI sting

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The following is a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho.

BOISE — Former Idaho Department of Correction correctional officer Richard McCollough, 37, of Boise, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two counts of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced. McCollough pleaded guilty in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation at IDOC’s request to address concerns of corruption among IDOC correctional officers. For his two guilty pleas, McCollough faces at least 30 years in prison up to life. His sentencing is set for Feb. 25.

McCollough is the third defendant to plead guilty. Previously, co-defendants Robert Wallin, 36, and Timothy Landon, 36, both of Boise, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to aid and abet drug trafficking crimes. Wallin will be sentenced on Feb. 12. Landon will be sentenced on Feb. 26.

The fourth defendant, Erik Thompson, 38, of Star, is scheduled for trial on Feb. 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 to assist what he believed to be a large-scale drug organization. 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. 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.

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.

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