A former Idaho Department of Correction officer faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty on Tuesday to federal charges. Prosecutors say he helped move more than 18 pounds of cocaine to undercover FBI agents.
Richard McCollough, 37, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He’s one of four Idaho Department of Correction officers to face drug charges after the department asked the FBI to investigate “concerns for corruption among IDOC correctional officers,” according to the release. FBI agents posed as drug dealers and recruited McCollough and other officers in their operation. McCollough admitted to carrying a handgun and providing security for the operation on one occasion during which, according to the release, he weighed more than 13 pounds of cocaine. On another occasion, he delivered more than 18 pounds to an undercover agent.
The release does not provide the specifics of the enterprise, but it does note none of the drugs entered prisons, and none of them were ever in the sole possession of the defendants.
McCollough faces between 30 years and life in prison.
McCollough’s plea comes after those of his co-defendants, Robert Wallin, 36, and Timothy Landon, 36, both of Boise, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to aid and abet drug trafficking. A fourth defendant, Erik Thompson, 38, of Star, has a jury trial scheduled for Feb. 11 in U.S. District Court.