Guards lied to a gun probe found in a federal prison in New York

New York (AP) — A federal prison officer was arrested on Friday for lying to an investigator. A loaded gun was found in a prison cell in a federal prison in New York City. — The same problematic lockup that financier Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide in 2019.

Greg Mackenzie, security guard Metropolitan Correctional Center with the shutter released, The prosecution used a prepaid mobile phone to communicate with the prisoner and his wife before the gun was discovered in March 2020, but when a federal investigator interviewed him last year, he did so. Said he refused.

Mackenzie, 35, from Danbury, Connecticut, pleaded not guilty to making a misrepresentation and misrepresentation on Friday. They will be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

McKenzie was released on $ 200,000 in public debt following a Manhattan federal court complaint and must seek court approval to travel outside Connecticut and New York City.

Aaron Warrenstein, Mackenzie’s lawyer, said: He answered questions from the legal authorities, as far as he knows. “

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Mackenzie is currently employed as a correctional officer at the Federal Correctional Facility in Danbury, but Warrenstein said he began working as a delivery driver on Monday. The inmates accused of communicating with Mackenzie were not listed on Mackenzie’s invoice.

In a statement, Ryan Geach, a special agent at the Inspector General’s Office of the Justice Department, said Mackenzie’s lies and allegations of obstruction “firearms loaded in prisoners’ hands endanger not only prisons but the entire community. “Because of that,” he said, which was particularly troublesome.

In a statement, the Prison Department is cooperating with the Inspector General’s Office on active investigations, “to protect individuals under our control and to keep correction staff and communities safe. We take our obligations seriously. “

“Staff allegations of misconduct are taken seriously, in line with national policy, and will be referred for investigation if there is good reason,” the authorities said. “Potential criminal or illegal cases within the BOP facility will be thoroughly investigated for potential administrative discipline or criminal prosecution.”

Mackenzie was the first person to be charged in connection with a smuggled pistol, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons decided to close the Metropolitan Correctional Center at least temporarily to address the issues plagued Manhattan’s facilities. It is one of the many crises that have become. Includes loose security and collapsing infrastructure..

The incident showed a major breach of the protocol shortly before the nationwide shutdown of COVID-19 began and raised serious questions about the security practices of federal prisons containing more than 154,000 prisoners.

The prison claimed as one of the safest prisons in the United States Blockade for a weekWith prisoners housed in their cell, without access to their lawyers or visitors. The investigation found other smuggled goods, leading to a criminal investigation into the illegal activities of the guards.

On March 5, 2020, prison officials placed a gun inside a wall that had access to a specific cell in a residential unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Prior to that, prosecutors said Mackenzie had used a prepaid Samsung cell phone purchased on January 30, 2020 to contact the prisoner and his wife who lived in the cell.

Mobile phone records show multiple communications between Mackenzie’s prepaid phone on January 31, 2020 and the prisoner’s wife, and for some time their phone was near the same in Bronx. The prosecutor said in an officer’s complaint.

According to the indictment, Mackenzie, who had been temporarily assigned to the Metropolitan Correctional Center for a year from December 2019 to December 2020, then went to work late at night at the prisoner’s residence. According to the indictment, when he entered the facility, a security video showed him walking around instead of going through a stationary metal detector.

According to the indictment, the phone record shows that the inmate made the call and sent a text message to Mackenzie’s prepaid phone at around 12:16 am. Approximately three minutes later, a security video shows Mackenzie leaving the guard and walking towards the inmate’s cell area. While carrying things under his left arm.

In a voluntary interview with two federal law enforcement agencies on November 4, 2021, prosecutors made virtually false statements about Mackenzie’s purchase, possession, and use of prepaid mobile phones. He said he interfered with the investigation of smuggling of guns and other smuggled goods into prisons.

Epstein committed suicide in prison In August 2019, while waiting for a trial on charges of sexual trafficking. The death of a wealthy financier led to close scrutiny of prisons and prison bureaus.Two prison officers accused of sleeping and shopping on the Internet while watching Epstein’s troops An agreement was reached last year to avoid prison time After admitting they forged records to make him look like they checked in.


Balsamo reported from Washington.


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