3 MCC correction officers charges with smuggling controlled substances

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Three correctional officers at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City have been indicted for allegedly providing inmates, who were also charged, with banned controlled substances.

Two of them were also charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly threatening a witness and attempting to influence a federal judge.

In exchange for the contraband, the Justice Department alleges the officers received bribes.

Specifically, they allegedly snuck in oxytocin, K2, cellphones, cigarettes, cell phone chargers, and alprazolam (Xanax).

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Perry Joyner and Sharon Griffith-McKnight were identified as the officers charged with obstruction of justice.

Joyner allegedly threatened a witness "for the purpose of dissuading Inmate-1 from providing the government information about the scheme and Joyner's participation in the scheme."

The government says Griffith-McKnight sought to influence a District Court Judge in the Southern District of New York to "impose a less serious punishment," against one of the co-conspirators, Anthony Ellison.

According to the indictment, "Griffith-McKnight, in her stated capacity as a Unit Secretary at MCC, falsely reported to the Court in connection with Ellison's sentencing proceeding that Ellison 'had proven himself to be a model inmate' even though at the time Griffith was smuggling to Ellison contraband and therefore knew that Ellison was not, in fact, a 'model inmate.'"

The government alleges Griffith-McKnight wrote a letter to the court on Ellison's behavior.

'Unless this is some sort of Grisham novel, and people are all corrupt and making all of this up about (Ellison), it seems that It's unavoidable that (Ellison's) trajectory at MCC contains a lot of good," she allegedly wrote.

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The scheme allegedly went on from October 2019 to January of 2021, court documents say.

MCC has had its share of issues and is closing temporarily.

Convicted sex offender Jeffery Epstein died by suicide there in August of 2019, and there have been multiple instances where a firearm was thought to be snuck into the facility.

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