New York City

MCC Returns to Normal Operations After Smuggled Gun Triggers Lockdown

The loaded gun was found in an inmate's cell after eight days of the lockdown; modified operations continued for a few more days after that

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What to Know

  • A loaded gun was found in an inmate's cell at MCC Thursday, according to federal officials, ending an eight-day search after authorities were tipped off that a weapon had been smuggled inside
  • Investigators had been focusing on whether a corrections officer at MCC helped smuggle a gun to an inmate, sources previously told News 4
  • The lockdown remained in effect for a number of days after the discovery to complete searches; the facility returned to normal operations on Wednesday

Lawyers familiar with the Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center say the facility is returning to normal operations Wednesday -- about two weeks after suspicions about a smuggled handgun triggered a lockdown at the federal jail.

The lawyers familiar with the investigation say the focus is now in part on a prison officer and whether that officer smuggled the gun, which was loaded, into the jail and gave it to an inmate. The weapon was found in a cell Thursday night, authorities said.

An MCC spokesman declined comment, as did a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

Other contraband was recovered over the search period as well, including cellphones, narcotics and homemade weapons, the Bureau of Prisons said in a statement Friday.

"All of these items pose a significant threat to the safety and security of the facility as well as the public," the federal agency's statement said.

Meanwhile, inmates complained of getting cold sandwiches (one claimed the cold cuts were frozen and inedible on one occasion) during the lockdown. Visitors also said inmates reported their cells or dorms were destroyed during the searches, with urinals left broken and bedsheets taken away. Others complained about having to wash their clothes in the shower, in sinks, or even in the toilet.

Some defense lawyers say their clients are planning lawsuits against the MCC over the tough and isolating pre-trial conditions they say they were subjected to during the lockdown.

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