By LUKE BARR and AARON KATERSKY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Ghislaine Maxwell’s temporary new home is a far cry from the 156-acre New Hampshire estate where she was arrested for enabling Jeffrey Epstein’s sex offenses.
Maxwell, who was charged with conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse minors, arrived Monday in New York where she was transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, a problem-plagued federal lockup that has been under scrutiny in the past year.
MDC is across the river from the Metropolitan Correction Center in Manhattan, where Epstein — who was charged last year with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors — died by suicide and where two of his guards were charged with falsifying records.
MDC Brooklyn has had its own share of controversy, including an inmate’s death following the use of pepper spray and a heating outage in the dead of winter. There have also been 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 there.
Last month, an inmate died at MDC after being pepper sprayed while in his cell, the Bureau of Prisons announced. The New York Medical examiner’s office is conducting an autopsy on the cause of death.
A source familiar with the investigation told ABC News that the inmate died of a heart attack.
The inmate, Jamel Floyd, was being “disruptive and potentially harmful to himself and others” after he barricaded himself inside his cell and broke the cell-door window with a metal object, the BOP said.
James Floyd, Jamel Floyd’s father, however, told PIX 11 in June that there was a cover up.
“They’re trying to cover it up, that’s why they didn’t give us no phone call, they didn’t give us any information at all,” he said.
The year got off to disturbing start at the facility. From Jan. 27 to Feb. 3 it had no power. Hot water, preparations to handle inmates who used continuous positive airway pressure machines, electronic prescription refill requests as well as communications with inmates’ counsel and relatives were not available during that time, the Department of Justice Inspector General concluded in his report on the facility.
Initially, investigators believed there was a fire that caused the power to go out, but Michael Horowitz, the DOJ IG concluded that there were “longstanding” issues with the power grid.
The safety and security of the inmates were not a concern, according the 65-page report released earlier this year, which gave nine undisputed recommendations to the BOP as a result of the investigation.
“The BOP’s initial silence about the fire and power outage was interpreted by defense counsel, the courts, the public, and ultimately members of Congress as apathy and indifference,” it said.
The troubled lockup will take some adjusting to by Maxwell, who is used to a lavish lifestyle.
The government’s detention memo says it has identified more than 15 different bank accounts held by or associated with Maxwell between 2016 and the present — with balances in those accounts ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $20 million.
Federal prosecutors allege in court documents that Maxwell is an extreme flight risk and hope that MDC Brooklyn will be her temporary home until she stands trial. They have requested her first court appearance in New York to be on July 14.
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