- Associated Press - Thursday, April 12, 2018

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Seven people, including four correctional officers, are facing federal charges after prosecutors say they conspired to traffic drugs and smuggle contraband into Idaho prisons.

U.S. Attorney Bart Davis announced the indictments made by two separate grand juries on Thursday morning.

Davis says Idaho Department of Correction Director Henry Atencio reached out to his office two years ago seeking help after IDOC investigators uncovered allegations that some prison employees may be smuggling drugs and other contraband items into the Idaho State Correctional Institution near Boise.

The U.S. Attorney’s office and FBI took over the investigation, ultimately leading to the two indictments unsealed Thursday.

In one indictment, the grand jury alleges an undercover FBI agent approached a nurse who was working for the state’s prison medical contractor - who had previously been caught smuggling contraband into the prison. The undercover agent asked the nurse to put him in contact with other prison workers who could help with criminal activity. Four correctional officers were eventually recruited.

Over the next several months, the four men allegedly made contact with several undercover FBI agents and worked to traffic what they thought were drugs and contraband cigarettes.

Richard McCullough, 36, Timothy Landon, 35 and Robert Wallin, 35, all of Boise, and Eric Thompson, 38, of Star, are expected to make their first appearance in U.S. District Court Friday on charges including conspiracy. They could not be reached for comment, and it wasn’t known if the men obtained attorneys.

A second indictment charges former IDOC correctional officer Joshua Barney, 43, of Star, former inmate Colin McIntyre, 27, of Stanfield, Oregon, and Tiffany Culbertson, 23, of Meridian with crimes including conspiring to use a facility in interstate commerce to further criminal activity. Davis said the three are accused of conspiring to smuggle tobacco products and a cellphone into the prison. They’re also expected to make their first court appearance on Friday; it was not clear if they had attorneys.

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