The two prison guards — Tova Noel and Michael Thomas — assigned to guard Jeffrey Epstein on the night that he died have admitted that they falsified prison records and have cut a deal with federal prosecutors.
“As part of the deal with prosecutors, they will enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department and will serve no time behind bars,” The Associated Press reported. “Noel and Thomas would instead be subjected to supervised release, would be required to complete 100 hours of community service and would be required to fully cooperate with an ongoing probe by the Justice Department’s inspector general.”
The guards, who were supposed to be checking on Epstein every 30 minutes, are accused of checking sports news and shopping for furniture on the internet before taking a nap during Epstein’s death. The two are accused of falsifying prison records to make it look like they had been doing their job during the time of Epstein’s death.
A letter from federal prosecutors that was filed in federal court says that the two have “admitted that they ‘willfully and knowingly completed materially false count and round slips regarding required counts and rounds.’”
The AP added:
Epstein’s death and the revelation that he was able to kill himself while behind bars at one of the most secure jails in America was a major embarrassment for the Bureau of Prisons and cast a spotlight on the agency, which has also been besieged by serious misconduct in recent years.
Staffing shortages at the agency are so severe that guards often work overtime day after day or are forced to work mandatory double shifts. … The falsification of records has been a problem throughout the federal prison system. Union officials have long argued that the reduction of staff is putting both guards and inmates in danger, but they’ve faced an uphill battle getting attention.
Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s longtime friend, was charged by federal authorities for allegedly contributing to Epstein’s abuse of underage girls and is currently awaiting trial.
“Ghislaine Maxwell is woken up every 15 minutes with flashlights by guards at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn because the accused madam is on an ‘enhanced security schedule’ lockup, federal authorities said in court papers,” the NYP reported. “Federal prosecutors detailed the regimen in a letter to Manhattan federal court Judge Alison Nathan, who ordered them to respond to accusations from Maxwell’s defense attorneys that she’s subjected to onerous prison conditions, including sleep deprivation because of the constant wake ups.”
The letter from authorities said that she is monitored every 15 minutes for her own safety, even though they said she is not on suicide watch.
A friend of Maxwell’s previously said that Maxwell believed that she could avoid criminal prosecution because Maxwell said she had serious dirt on powerful people.
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.