2 Oklahoma prison guards indicted for distributing methamphetamine
OKLAHOMA CITY — Two Oklahoma prison guards have been charged with methamphetamine distribution, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing, Western District of Oklahoma.
These criminal charges resulted from an investigation by the following agencies: Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ Security Threats Intelligence, Oklahoma District Attorney’s Drug Task Force for District 2, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Micah Lynne Wascher, 36, and Travis Eugene Wascher, 42, both of Canute, Oklahoma, were correctional officers for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections at the North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre, Oklahoma, at the time of the alleged offenses.
According to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint filed July 30, Oklahoma Department of Corrections staff confiscated a cellphone from a North Fork inmate May 27. It is alleged the Department’s Security Threats Intelligence group discovered the phone contained evidence of regular communications among the inmate who had the phone, another inmate, and Micah Lynne Wascher. The phone allegedly included evidence that the other inmate had been receiving money on a Green Dot prepaid credit card from Wascher. Both inmates at issue are allegedly members of the Universal Aryan Brotherhood.
According to the affidavit, Department of Corrections officers obtained a warrant and searched the defendants’ home in Canute. They discovered 72 grams of a white, crystal-like substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine, as well as 11 cellphones.
Both defendants were arrested Aug. 6. On Wednesday, a federal grand jury returned an indictment that charges both of them with three crimes: conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and maintaining a drug-involved premises.
“Oklahomans expect prison officials to enforce our laws, not to use their positions to introduce contraband such as drugs and cell phones,” said U.S. Attorney Downing. “I am pleased to work with state corrections officials to ensure Oklahoma’s prisons are free of this sort of corruption.”
If found guilty of either of the first two charges, each defendant faces a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million. This crime carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison. Each defendant would also be required to serve a term of supervised release of at least four years and up to life. If found guilty of the third charge, each could be imprisoned up to 20 years and be subject to a fine of up to $500,000, in addition to three years of supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas J. Patterson and Jason Harley, Western District of Texas, are prosecuting this case.
The public is reminded that these charges are merely allegations and that each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Reference is made to public filings for more information.