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Nassau correction officer accused of smuggling contraband into county correctional facility

Javel Welch is accused of smuggling a cellphone and Bible coated in K2, a synthetic marijuana.

Krista McNally

Mar 30, 2023, 7:49 PM

Updated 449 days ago

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A Nassau County correction officer was arraigned Thursday on charges that he smuggled contraband into the Nassau County Correctional Facility.
Javel Welch is accused of smuggling a cellphone and Bible coated in K2, a synthetic marijuana. Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly says both items are very dangerous for the staff and inmate's safety.
Donnelly says all calls going into and out of the facility are recorded, so a cellphone could cause havoc. She also says there has been a surge of Bible pages in the correctional facility that are being rolled up to smoke because a Bible would be allowed in inmate's cells.
"The presence of a cellphone and drugs can spark fights and medical emergencies in the correctional facility," Donnelly says. "No one, no one, including staff, is allowed to bring a cellphone into the facility."
The 39-year-old probationary corrections officer was searched by the Internal Affairs Unit when he got into work on Wednesday, according to Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly.
A sheriff's department K-9 narcotics dog picked up on the K2 drug in Welch's backpack that was then searched, authorities say. His car was then also searched, where Donnelly says he had his loaded firearm in the center console, unlocked and not in a safe place to store.
Welch, who had been on the job since April 2022, was arrested and immediately suspended.
He denies all charges he is facing, including promoting prison contraband in the first degree and failure to safely store rifles.
Welch had loved ones supporting him in court at his arraignment.
"He's an incredible person and a good young man," said Archbishop Russel James Davenport, pastor at Arrow Yahweh International Ministries.
An investigation is ongoing.
The district attorney's office says safety at the jail is a top priority.
"We had an overdose death in the jail a week ago, and they are following every lead," Donnelly says.
Welch was released and is due back in court on April 6.


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