Former guard pleads guilty to smuggling drugs into prison

Kevin McIlquham
Kevin McIlquham

WISE, Va. — A Letcher County man, who formerly worked at Red Onion State Prison in Wise County, has admitted to helping get drugs to inmates at the prison.

Kevin McIlquham, 34, of Gordon, pleaded guilty in Wise Circuit Court to conspiracy to deliver drugs to inmates, delivery of drugs, and bribery. He admitted to helping distribute tobacco, marijuana, Suboxone, ecstasy and heroin to inmates while he was employed as a corrections officer in 2019.

When he was discovered, investigators found $2,000 made from the scheme in his car.

“I cannot underscore the seriousness of these offenses,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp said. “When someone smuggles drugs and tobacco into our prisons, it poses a significant threat to the safety of corrections officers, the dedicated staff who work at our state correctional facilities, and inmates in these facilities.  I want to thank the thorough investigation of the Virginia Department of Corrections into this matter and the hard work of Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Berlin W. Skeen Jr. for making these convictions possible.” 

McIlquham will return to court for sentencing in July, when he faces up to 30 years in prison.