NEW YORK — Two federal workers who were on duty on the night of Jeffrey Epstein’s death in a Manhattan jail were taken into custody Tuesday, the New York Times reports.
According to the newspaper, they could face federal charges related to their alleged failure to check on the disgraced financier before he was found hanged in his cell.
CNN earlier reported that one or two guards were expected to surrender to authorities and could face charges including falsifying records, related to documents on how often they checked on Epstein.
Epstein died while awaiting trial on federal charges accusing him of operating a sex trafficking ring from 2002 to 2005 at his Manhattan mansion and his Palm Beach estate. As part of the ring, he allegedly paid girls as young as 14 for sex. He’d pleaded not guilty to the charges.
New York City’s chief medical examiner has ruled his death a suicide by hanging, though Epstein’s legal team has disagreed with that conclusion.
Of the two officers who were responsible for monitoring Epstein the night he died, one was not a detention guard but was temporarily reassigned to that post, according to a person briefed on the matter. The guard, a man not identified by officials, had previously been trained as a corrections officer but had moved to another position.
Rules at the Federal Bureau of Prisons allow people who work in other prison jobs, such as teachers and cooks, to be trained to fill in for posts usually manned by regular guards.
The second staff member on Epstein duty was a woman fully trained as a guard, according to the person briefed on the matter.
Both guards were working overtime shifts, but it’s unclear whether that was mandatory.