Federal Inmate and Lee County Resident Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy at Federal Prison
ABINGDON, VIRGINIA -- United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy announced today that two defendants entered guilty pleas in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon to numerous charges involving the smuggling of heroin into the United States Penitentiary Lee County.
Larry Dale Nichols, 43, of Jonesville Va., entered pleas of guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, possession of contraband in a federal prison, and conspiracy to receive contraband in a federal prison. Nichols faces a potential maximum possible sentence of up to 45 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,500,000.
Judy Lynn Young, 47, of Pennington Gap, Va., entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and one count of providing contraband to an inmate in a federal prison. Campbell faces a potential maximum possible sentence of up to 40 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2,000,000. Additionally, Campbell faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years imprisonment.
“The United States Attorney’s Office will work with our law enforcement partners in and around Federal prisons to ensure illegal substances do not infiltrate these institutions,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “We will not tolerate the actions of defendants like Mr. Nichols and Ms. Young.”
According to evidence presented at the guilty plea hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Zachary Lee, Nichols, an inmate at USP-Lee County, and Young began an online relationship and then had conversations both in person and telephonically related to the introduction of heroin into USP-Lee.
On April 1, 2011, Young received a box containing a pink rabbit stuffed animal filled with thirteen balloons containing heroin. On April 3, 2011, Young visited Nichols at USP-Lee and brought four balloons containing heroin into the facility by secreting the drug-filled balloons on her person. Prior to leaving her visit with Nichols, Young transferred the balloons to Nichols, who then ingested the four balloons. Nichols was interviewed after the visit and admitted to ingesting heroin that he had received from Young and the heroin was recovered and analyzed. Young was interviewed in May 2011 and she admitted to providing heroin to Nichols and also provided an additional nine balloons of heroin and the stuffed animal they were mailed in to law enforcement officers with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Lee County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Prisons, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee of the United States Attorney’s Office in Abingdon is prosecuting the case.