Former prison guard, inmate’s mom sentenced for drug scheme

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former prison guard in West Virginia was sentenced to two years in federal prison in a scheme to smuggle drugs to an inmate. The inmate’s mother also was sentenced to a year and two months for providing the drugs to the guard.

Mark Steven Taylor, 40, of Richwood, was sentenced in federal court in Charleston for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, while Pamela Gail Adkins, 44, of Oak Hill, was sentenced for distribution of meth and heroin, U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said Tuesday.

Taylor admitted Adkins gave him drugs in February 2019 to smuggle into the Huttonsville Correctional Center, and that she had paid him $500 and he smuggled drugs into the prison on one previous occasion, the statement said. Adkins admitted giving Taylor the drugs and paying him.

Prison investigators had alerted a drug task force about the scheme. The task force set up a surveillance in Craigsville where Adkins was seen giving a package to Taylor containing the drugs. Taylor was arrested at the scene and Adkins was arrested during a traffic stop a short distance away, the statement said.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at