Officials thwart prison drug-smuggling plan

It was here, along the perimeter fence of the White Hills Landfill, that the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office discovered a drop-off location for drugs headed to the Central Utah Correctional Facility. Methamphetamine was hidden in a Weinerschnitzel fast food bag. The drugs were supposed to be picked up by inmates on a work-release crew. Five people have been charged in connection with the plan.

Officials thwart prison drug-smuggling plan


By Robert Stevens




GUNNISON—The Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office has once again used surveillance techniques to stop a drug smuggling ring. But this time, the ring of would-be drug-runners were already behind bars.

The smugglers were inmates in the Central Utah Correctional Facility (CUCF) who hatched a plan to sneak contraband into the prison with the help of a recently paroled comrade.

But their plan unraveled when monitored mail and phone correspondence tipped off prison officials. They contacted the sheriff’s office, which launched an investigation and made the following arrests.

Talon Hamann, 24; Kelcy Roberts, 28; Patrick Sullivan, 32; Colton Olsen, 23, and Brian Patrick Olsen, 55, are each charged in 6th District Court with attempted drug distribution in a prison, a second-degree felony. Brian Olsen received an additional charge of drug possession, a third-degree felony.

According to court documents, the plan fell apart after conversations between Brian Olsen, who was out of prison on parole, and Colton Olsen clued officials in on a plan to drop off drugs in a discrete location where inmates on a prison work crew could pick up them up.

According to court documents, part of one message between the two reads, “Travel until you see the Gunnison Valley High School, where you will turn left again, traveling past the high school. You will travel down the paved road until you see a turnoff on the right with the sign ‘White Hills Sanitation’ located in Mayfield, Utah. You will travel, still down a paved road until you get to the main gate with a smaller gate to the left of it. Count out 10 or 11 fence posts and you will find a small bush. Under this bush, bury the package in a fast-food bag and place a rock over it.”

Investigators beat the inmates to the punch by visiting the drop-off location, where they found the drugs right where the message said they would be, in a Wienerschnitzel bag.

With the drugs in hand, the investigators swapped out “decoy” drugs and allowed the inmates’ plan to proceed. The inmates picked up the fake drugs and took them back to the prison. Upon arrival, they were searched and arrested.

If found guilty, the incident could earn the inmates extended time in the Utah prison system.