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Riker's Island Officer Accused In Escape-For-Cocaine Plot

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A veteran New York City corrections officer is accused of agreeing to help an inmate escape jail in exchange for three kilograms of cocaine and cash.

WCBS 880's Irene Cornell: Jail Guard Now Behind Bars


Authorities said an undercover federal agent helped thwart officer Robert Whitfield's plan. An accomplice, Islime Duvivier, also was arrested.

James Hunt, DEA Associate Special Agent In Charge, told 1010 WINS Wednesday that Whitfield "sent an emissary to meet with the undercover at which time the undercover brought 3 kilograms of cocaine to Mr. Islime Duvivier."

The city's Department of Investigation says the officer plotted the exchange of drugs for the inmate's escape from Rikers Island in phone conversations with a Drug Enforcement Administration agent. He was arrested Tuesday during a sting operation.

Hunt said it is still unclear how Whitfield planned to help the inmate secure his release.

"He was a jail guard at Riker's Island so obviously he would have accessed the secure areas. How he was intending to do it, we don't know," he said.

Whitfield was arraigned Wednesday in Manhattan.

The 48-year-old Whitfield has been a correction officer since 1990.

Department of Correction Commissioner Dora B. Schriro said in a statement that the agency has "zero tolerance" for employees who compromise security.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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