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Rikers guard gets 8 years for accepting bribe

Sept. 18, 2013 at 3:38 PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- A New York corrections officer was sentenced to eight years in prison for accepting a bribe in exchange for organizing a prisoner's early release, lawyers said.

Robert Whitfield, 51, a guard at New York's notorious Rikers Island prison, was convicted of conspiracy bribe receiving and other charges after prosecutors said he agreed to accept 6.5 pounds of cocaine in exchange for tinkering with the Department of Corrections computer system to allow an inmate to be released earlier, the New York Daily News said Tuesday.

Whitfield was arrested in April, 2011, after an undercover cop met with a representative of the Rikers inmate Whitfield was helping to make the drug exchange. The inmate's intermediary thought he was meeting Whitfield's cousin, the report said.

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