Nassau County correction officer accused of smuggling K2 into jail through Bible

WABC logo
Friday, March 31, 2023
ABC7 New York 24/7 Eyewitness News Stream
ABC7 New York 24/7 Eyewitness News StreamStream New York's #1 news - Accuweather - original content 24/7

MINEOLA, New York (WABC) -- A correction officer was arraigned Thursday on charges that he allegedly smuggled contraband into the Nassau County Correctional Center.

Javel Welch, 38, from West Hempstead, is accused of smuggling in a cellphone and small Bible believed to be coated in the synthetic drug K2.

Officials said it happened when Welch reported to work Wednesday and he was searched by members of the Internal Affairs Unit of the Nassau County Sheriff's Department.

No one, including staff, is allowed to bring a cellphone into the facility.

Officials said the small bible in his backpack contained K2 residue on the pages.

"We actually have seen a surge of Bible pages in the correctional center that are being rolled up to smoke, because the Bible would be allowed in someone's cell, because it is the Bible that is sold in the commissary," said Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly.

Welch's vehicle was also searched, and his firearm, a loaded semi-automatic Glock 19 pistol, was found improperly secured in the center console of the car. The console was unlocked, and the pistol was not in a safe storage depository.

At the courthouse Thursday, Welch's pastor defended the probationary officer who has only been on the job for 11 months.

"He's an incredible person, he's incredible, he's a good young man," Archbishop Russell James said.

He is charged with one count of Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree (a D felony); one count of Promoting Prison Contraband in the Second Degree (an A misdemeanor); and one count of Failure to Safely Store Rifles, Shotguns, and Firearms in the First Degree (an A misdemeanor).

"The health and safety of our correction officers and incarcerated individuals is paramount," Donnelly said. "In the wrong hands, a cellphone in a jail can become a tool for retribution, harassment, and violence. Illicit substances introduced into the jail population can create medical emergencies and further destabilize the facility. Our correction officers are entrusted to uphold the law and maintain order. This defendant's alleged actions compromised his integrity and could have had extremely dangerous consequences."

ALSO READ | Woman from 1991 brutal homicide identified; investigators search for her child

Investigators have identified the woman in 1991 cold case on Staten Island. Kristin Thorne has the details.


* More Long Island news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.