Long Island

Nassau Correctional Officer Accused of Bringing K2-Coated Bible Into Jail: DA

More information on the case is expected to be released later Thursday

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It wasn't quite a crime of biblical proportions, but it may have a Long Island man doing penance.

A probationary Nassau County correctional officer with 11 months on the job was arrested after contraband was allegedly found on him during a search when he arrived at the jail in East Meadow, according to the district attorney's office.

Seized in that search was a Bible, its pages coated with K2, which is a synthetic version of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, prosecutors said. A cellphone, which isn't permitted inside, was also seized.

Though the Bible is similar to ones sold in the jail commissary, it is unclear at this point where the one in this particular incident came from.

It wasn't immediately clear what the officer, identified by prosecutors as Javel Welch, 38 and from West Hempstead, intended to do with the Bible, nor were the specific charges against him known. However, according to the Nassau Police Department, a drug-sniffing dog was stationed at the jail following a drug overdose that took place several weeks ago.

Allegedly, inmates have been smoking paper coated with K2 in order to get high.

Welch was released without bail on Wednesday.

His court-appointed attorney, Cheryl Bartow, said Welch "denies all the charges."

Meanwhile, Welch's mother and sister were also present during his court appearance and said "he's innocent."

The investigation underway also includes a look into whether Welch has done this before.

“The health and safety of our correction officers and incarcerated individuals is paramount,” Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said in a statement. “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.”

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