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York County Prison guard accused in plot to smuggle opioids to inmates

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Joshua Antonio Martinez

A York County Prison corrections officer is suspended without pay, accused of plotting with an accused murderer to smuggle drugs inside the prison.

Joshua Antonio Martinez, 31, of Red Lion, remains free on $75,000 bail, charged with drug possession with intent to deliver, conspiracy to commit that offense and conspiracy to introduce contraband into the prison. All three charges are felonies.

"At no time was he ever going to introduce contraband inside the prison," defense attorney George Margetas said. "Things aren't always the way they seem. We'll let the evidence play out, but my client maintains he did not do anything wrong."

Margetas said Martinez, who is now suspended without pay, had been working as a corrections officer at York County Prison for about 2½ years.

York County Prison Warden Clair Doll issued a statement Tuesday morning saying that Martinez was arrested June 6 by state police and that the investigation was a joint operation by a number of law-enforcement agencies, including the prison's intelligence and security office.

Doll's statement notes Martinez is on administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation.

District Attorney Dave Sunday said the York County Drug Task Force assisted state police and prison investigators. He praised the job they did in this case, which he called thorough.

The allegations: According to charging documents filed by state police, Martinez conspired with accused murderer Lleland Wade, 34, and Wade's girlfriend, Chelsea Cochran, 25, to smuggle Suboxone inside York County Prison.

Lleland Wade

Suboxone is an opioid that's used to treat opioid addiction and also is a painkiller.

Charging documents state that on June 6, state police followed Martinez as he left the prison after his shift and went to Cochran's home on Lakeview Drive in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County.

Once there, Martinez took something from inside Cochran's mailbox, put it in his car and drove toward his home, documents allege.

He was pulled over on Route 30 westbound in Hellam Township, where state police informed Martinez that he'd been under investigation for a suspected smuggling plot.

Troopers asked to search the car, then obtained a search warrant after Martinez denied their request, police said.

Investigators transported Martinez's car to a location in York City and searched it, police said. Inside, they found 75 Suboxone strips in original packaging, $2,920 cash, two loaded firearms and packaging material, officials said.

Martinez told investigators that Wade gave him a note telling him where to go, meaning to Cochran's address, documents state.

Brown paper bag: "Martinez informed me that he knew cash would be in the mailbox and there was a possibility that Suboxone would be in it, but he did not check the brown paper bag that he placed into his trunk," Trooper Timothy Richartz wrote in charging documents.

Martinez, Wade and Cochran are scheduled to have a joint preliminary hearing on July 30 before York City District Judge James Morgan, according to online court records.

Martinez was arraigned June 6.

Cochran was arraigned on the same charges Thursday and had bail set at $75,000 unsecured, according to court records. That means she did not have to post any cash to remain free but could forfeit that amount if she misses proceedings.

Wade was arraigned Wednesday on the same charges and had bail set at $100,000, court records state. He can't be released even if he posts that amount because he remains locked up on his murder charge.

Murder case: Wade, formerly of Mississippi and most recently of Lancaster County, is being held in York County Prison without bail on first-degree murder and conspiracy charges for allegedly killing Aaron Wollman, 25, of Denver, Lancaster County.

State police said Wade fatally shot Wollman during a drug deal in Lower Chanceford Township in the early-morning hours of April 16, 2018.

Wade's co-defendant, Kevin Galvin of Lancaster County, was present at the time of the homicide but didn't know Wade intended to kill Wollman, according to prosecutors.

Galvin's homicide charge was dropped and he pleaded guilty to obstructing the administration of law. He awaits sentencing.

Police have said Wade initially told investigators after his arrest that he killed Wollman after it was rumored that Wollman had sexually assaulted several women with whom the men were acquainted.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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