Harsh penalty for any prison worker crossing the line

Published 9:26 am Friday, June 12, 2015

DANNEMORA, N.Y. — The law will come down hard on any prison system employee who crosses the line, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said as suspicions swirled around a female prison employee believed to have had a role in the escape last weekend of two killers from a maximum-security facility.

“If you do it, you will be convicted, and then you’ll be on the other side of the prison that you’ve been policing, and that is not a pleasant place to be,” Cuomo said. He also said investigators are “talking to several people who may have facilitated the escape.”

Investigators believe the woman had agreed to be the getaway driver but never showed up, a person close to the case told The Associated Press on Thursday.

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David Sweat, 34, and Richard Matt, 48, used power tools to cut through steel and bricks and crawled through an underground steam pipe. They emerged from a manhole outside the 40-foot walls of the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, about 20 miles south of the Canadian border, and were discovered missing early Saturday, authorities said.

The person close to the investigation said authorities believe Joyce Mitchell — an instructor at the prison tailor shop, where the two convicts worked — had befriended the men and was supposed to pick them up Saturday morning, but didn’t.