The Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened a corruption inquiry focusing on employees and inmates at the maximum-security prison in northern New York State where two convicted killers escaped this month, the New York Times reports. The FBI investigation, which an official said was focused on drug trafficking and other possible criminal conduct, is likely to raise the scrutiny of prison officials, their conduct and the apparent lack of security and oversight at the institution in the months preceding the escape.
FBI agents agents had been assisting the State Police and the state prison agency in their investigation of the escape, but the expansion of the agency's role into a separate corruption inquiry, first reported by CNN, was not publicly disclosed until the manhunt had concluded. News of the federal inquiry came after Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated that the state's inspector general, Catherine Leahy Scott, was conducting a full investigation into the policies and procedures at the prison and the circumstances that led to the escape. There are questions about how officers who patrol the honors cellblock where David Sweat and Richard Matt were housed could have missed the inmates' preparations, which are believed to have gone on for weeks or months.