Guard Planned Jailbreak in Exchange for Coke: DEA

By Jonathan Dienst and Shimon Prokupecz
|  Thursday, Apr 7, 2011  |  Updated 6:44 AM EDT
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Guard Planned Jailbreak for Cash, Coke: DEA

A Rikers Island guard, inset, was arrested in a scheme to break out an inmate in exchange for cocaine and cash.

A Rikers Island guard has been arrested for scheming to help a drug kingpin escape in exchange for three kilos of cocaine and $20,000 cash, law enforcement officials told NBC New York.

The guard, Robert Whitfield, was arrested Tuesday night by Drug Enforcement Administration agents for allegedly trying to make the deal for a prison break.  He was arraigned Wednesday and bail was set at either $75,000 bond or $50,000 cash.

Officials learned of the unfolding scheme between Whitfield and an inmate, and caught him by posing an agent as an intermediary, authorities said.

DEA Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride said Whitfield "swore an oath to keep prisoners in jail when in reality he was going to attempt to break unknown individuals out of jail only to make a profit.”

Whitfield is described as a 21-year veteran of the city Department of Correction.  Also arrested was Islime Duvivier.

Duvivier, an associate, was allegedly going to pick up the cocaine in advance of the planned jail break.  

An attorney with the correction officers union did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The city Department of Correction said it has "zero tolerance for any employee who compromises his or her position in any way or jeopardizes the safety and security of staff or inmates."

Whitfield faces multiple charges, including conspiracy, bribe-receiving and official misconduct.

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