NASSAU COUNTY, N.Y. (PIX11) — A probationary correction officer was charged for allegedly smuggling prohibited material into the Nassau County Correctional Center, according to Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly.

When Javel Welch, 38, arrived to work in East Meadow on Wednesday afternoon, he was searched by members of the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, Donnelly said. A cellphone was allegedly found on Welch. No one, including staff, can have a cellphone in the facility. Additionally, Welch allegedly had a small bible with residue from the synthetic drug K2 on the pages in his backpack.

Authorities also searched Welch’s car, where a loaded Glock 19 pistol was found unsecured in the center console, according to officials. The vehicle was unlocked, per Donnelly’s office.

“The health and safety of our correction officers and incarcerated individuals is paramount,” said Donnelly. “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.”

Welch was arraigned on the following charges:

  • One count of promoting prison contraband in the first degree
  • One count of promoting prison contraband in the second degree
  • One count of failure to safely store rifles, shotguns, and firearms in the first degree

Welch has worked at the correctional facility since April 2022 and was suspended after his arrest. According to officials, Welch faces up to seven years in prison, if convicted.