A former federal correctional officer at the Metropolitan Correctional Center that housed Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty last year to taking bribes to smuggle in contraband.
In an August 2018 Department of Justice press release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York revealed that Victor Casado smuggled cellphones, alcohol, over-the-counter medications, and food to inmates in exchange for money.
Casado pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and to introduce contraband into prison, which carries a maximum term of five years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in an August statement that Casado had “betrayed” his duty “to ensure the security of the Metropolitan Correctional Center and the safety of inmates in his care.”
Relatives or associates of the inmates paid Casado by cash or wire transfer. In one case, an inmate’s attorney transferred a total of more than $25,000 to the disgraced jail guard.
The New York Times reported earlier this year that Casado accepted at least $50,000 in bribes from a Turkish-Iranian gold trader. In January, a federal judge sentenced Casado to three years in prison, with three years of supervised release.
Casado’s behavior isn’t an isolated case at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Also in August, authorities charged correctional officer Dario Quirumbay with accepting a bribe to smuggle in contraband. In a Justice Department press release, Berman vowed that his office would “continue to stop the corruption of our criminal justice system by those entrusted with supervising incarcerated individuals and keeping them safe.”
Media outlets, politicians, citizens question the circumstances surrounding death of Jeffrey Epstein
On both the political left and right, alternative theories about Epstein’s death have quickly proliferated, with many pointing to his former powerful friends. #ClintonBodyCount and #ClintonCrimeFamily were trending on Twitter on Saturday along with a competing hashtag, TrumpBodyCount.
Earlier this week, an investigative journalist for The Intercept resurfaced a story about Casado and the Metropolitan Correctional Center, mentioning the facility’s ties to Epstein.
Last year guard at the same federal prison facility in Manhattan that held Epstein caught taking $50k in bribes to smuggle stuff to a powerful inmate https://t.co/sGgsA5VbWR
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) August 10, 2019
Epstein’s death has spurred outrage by critics who say the prison should have prevented it. The FBI said it was investigating, and Attorney General William Barr said that a special inquiry would be opened into what happened.
“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Barr said in a statement. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered.”
CBS News reported on Tuesday that “shouting and shrieking” was heard from Epstein’s cell on the morning he died.
The development came a day after The New York Times reported that one of the two people guarding Epstein when he died in a federal jail cell was a “substitute.”
The stand-in guard did not normally work as a correctional officer, three prison officials with knowledge of the case told The Times on condition of anonymity. The sources, one prison official and two law enforcement officials, did not identify the person or say what type of job he usually worked.
Epstein, who was facing up to 45 years in prison on charges of sex trafficking girls as young as 14, was found unconscious Saturday morning in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. He was pronounced dead that morning after apparently hanging himself.