The two prison guards in charge of monitoring convicted pedophile and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein on the morning that he committed suicide reportedly “fell asleep,” did not check on him for hours, and then falsified prison records to hide their actions.
The new developments in the investigation into Epstein’s suicide come after the Justice Department announced on Tuesday that the two guards had been placed on administrative leave and the warden of the prison was being temporarily reassigned.
“The two correctional officers in the special housing unit where Mr. Epstein was held — 9 South — falsely recorded in a log that they had checked on the financier, who was facing sex trafficking charges, every 30 minutes, as was required,” The New York Times reported Tuesday night, citing a law enforcement official and a prison official. “Such false entries in an official log could constitute a federal crime.”
The Times noted that the two guards were reportedly asleep for three hours, during which time Epstein committed suicide.
“Today, the Attorney General directed the Bureau of Prisons to temporarily assign the warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York to the Bureau’s Northeast Regional Office pending the outcome of the FBI and OIG investigations into the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, a former MCC inmate,” DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec said early on Tuesday. “FCI Otisville Warden James Petrucci has been named Acting Warden of the MCC New York. The Bureau of Prisons also placed on administrative leave two MCC staff assigned to Mr. Epstein’s unit pending the outcome of the investigations. Additional actions may be taken as the circumstances warrant.”
Epstein reportedly tried to commit suicide on July 23, was placed on suicide watch, and was then removed from suicide watch six days later on July 29. Epstein was then moved into a cell with another inmate who was transferred out of the cell — leaving Epstein alone — hours before Epstein committed suicide on Saturday morning.
The Associated Press reported that the federal Bureau of Prisons sent a suicide reconstruction team to the Metropolitan Correctional Center to “reconstruct the scene, analyze why Epstein took his own life and look at how it happened.”
A source told the AP that “Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen is being briefed by the FBI every three hours” on updates from the investigation into Epstein’s suicide.
The New York Post reported on Monday that Epstein “apparently killed himself by kneeling toward the floor and strangling himself with the makeshift noose, a law enforcement source said Monday,” adding that he “was ‘unresponsive’ when he was discovered in his cell in the Special Housing Unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday.”
Republican Senator Ben Sasse (NE) urged Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday to “rip up” a 2008 non-prosecution agreement involving Epstein which protected alleged co-conspirators in the case.
“Too many of Epstein’s secrets have gone to the grave with him, and the Department must not allow his death to be one last sweetheart deal for his co-conspirators, Sasse wrote in a letter to Barr. “The victims of Epstein’s international sex trafficking ring deserve justice. In order to bring Epstein’s co-conspirators to justice, the Department of Justice should rip up the non-prosecution, non-investigation agreement entered into by Epstein and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida in 2008.”
“As documented in reporting by The Miami Herald, despite preparing a 53-page indictment, federal prosecutors instead entered into an agreement with Epstein that offered immunity to him, four named co-conspirators, and ‘any potential co-conspirators’ from federal charges, with Epstein agreeing to plead guilty to state charges that gave him a slap-on-the-wrist sentence that went largely unenforced,” Sasse continued. “This deal ‘essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes.'”
“These problems run far beyond those identified by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, which ruled that federal prosecutors violated the Crime Victims’ Rights Act by hiding the terms of the deal from the women and girls that Epstein raped and exploited until after it was entered,” Sasse added. “The idea that wealth and connections can buy injustice — the only plausible explanation for such pathetically soft terms for a serial child rapist at the heart of a massive international criminal enterprise — is wholly and completely inconsistent with the basic notions of fairness and equality that undergird the rule of law enshrined in our Constitution. Moreover, the notion that one individual’s plea could shield a whole class of potential co-conspirators of uncertain size and identity from legal liability would — if treated as enforceable — pioneer a new model for one fall guy to shield all other members of a criminal enterprise from accountability to the law.”
Following Epstein’s death, Attorney General William Barr released the following statement: “I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody. Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.”
The Daily Mail reported on Monday that FBI agents raided Epstein’s home in the Virgin Islands, referred to as “pedophile island” where “allegations have been made that underage girls were used as sex slaves and repeatedly abused inside a temple on the island.”
One of the most alarming developments in the case was reported by The Intercept in July, shortly after Epstein was arrested and charged with running a sex trafficking ring that involved luring underage girls.
“Epstein shipped a shredder from the U.S. Virgin Islands to his Palm Beach home in July 2008, shortly after reaching a non-prosecution agreement with then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, maritime records show,” The Intercept reported. “Then, in March of this year, shortly after a Florida federal judge invalidated that agreement, Epstein shipped a tile and carpet extractor from the Virgin Islands to his Manhattan townhouse, the records show.”