Police News

WISE — Three Virginia Department of Corrections employees and five other people have been indicted for crimes including sex with inmates and bringing drugs to two state prisons in Wise County.

A Wise County grand jury handed down 36 indictments against 35 people on Monday, for a total of 109 charges ranging from civil penalty marijuana possession, misdemeanor and felony drug possession to assault, destruction of property and credit card fraud and theft.

Three former Wallens Ridge State Prison cafeteria workers — Connie Belcher, 51, Jonesville; Josie Collins, 47, Kingsport; and Laura Kay Nickels, 38, Abingdon — were each indicted on one count of carnal knowledge of an inmate. According to the indictments, Belcher and Nickels allegedly were involved with inmates between June 1 and Aug. 1, 2019. Collins allegedly was involved with an inmate from May 1 to July 20, 2019. The felony charge carries a maximum prison term of five years on conviction.

Red Onion State Prison inmate Marvin Derricott, 33, and Tiffany Cox, 31, Richmond, Virginia, were each indicted on charges of conspiracy to deliver drugs to an inmate and bribery in connection with an alleged Oct. 24, 2019, incident at the prison. Derricott was also indicted on one county of criminal solicitation. The bribery and conspiracy charges each carry a maximum 10-year prison term on conviction, while the solicitation charge carries a maximum five-year prison term.

Joshua Tackett, 36, Beaver, Kentucky, was also indicted on charges of conspiracy to deliver drugs to an inmate at Red Onion, bribery and delivering drugs to an inmate in connection with an alleged Oct. 24 incident at the prison. In addition to the 10-year maximum sentences on conviction of conspiracy and bribery, the delivery charge also carries a 10-year maximum prison term.

Kevin McIlquham, 33, Gordon, Kentucky, also was indicted on conspiracy to deliver drugs to an inmate at Red Onion, bribery and delivering drugs to an inmate in connection with an alleged Oct. 24 incident at the prison.

Teresa Marie Welch, 55, Atkins, Virginia, was indicted on one count of attempted delivery of drugs related to an alleged Oct. 19, 2019, incident at Wallens Ridge State Prison. The felony charge carries a maximum 10-year sentence.