Federal prosecutors have suddenly dropped the criminal case against the two jail guards who watched over VIP pedophile ring boss Jeffrey Epstein on the night of his mysterious death.
Tova Noel and Michael Thomas were guarding Epstein on the night he died in his jail cell while awaiting trial for running an elite pedophile ring.
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The two guards neglected to check on Epstein and admitted to falsifying records.
The guards were facing jail time after they confessed to “willfully and knowingly” lying that they had made the required rounds checking on inmates that fateful night.
Dailymail.co.uk reports: In a Thursday filing in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss claims against Tova Noel, 33 and Michael Thomas, 43, after both complied with the six-month no-jail deal they agreed to in May.
The prosecutors’ nolle prosequi, meaning not to wish to prosecute, notice was filed on December 13, but the document did not appear on the court’s public record until Thursday, a day after a jury found Maxwell guilty on five of the six sex trafficking counts she faced.
Both admitted to having ‘willfully and knowingly’ falsified records to make it seem they were monitoring Epstein properly.
Their deferred prosecution agreements required that they each perform 100 hours of community service and cooperate with a federal probe arising from Epstein’s death.
Noel and Thomas had been scheduled for a public hearing on December 16, but it was suddenly canceled on December 15.
According to the legal notice made public just a day after Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking, Noel and Thomas ‘satisfactorily complied’ with the terms of the non-prosecution agreement and completed community service.
Epstein was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in 2019, while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
William Barr, the US attorney general at the time, had been angered that such a high-profile inmate was able to kill himself while in federal custody.
Epstein had been on suicide watch after he was found July 23, 2019, on his cell floor with bruises on his neck. He was taken off suicide watch about a week before his death, which meant he was less closely monitored but still supposed to be checked on every 30 minutes.
According to a 2019 indictment, Noel and Thomas were falling asleep and surfing the internet instead of performing mandatory checks on Epstein’s cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, the night he killed himself.
After they discovered the high-profile inmate dead at 6.30am, the officers allegedly told a supervisor they had ‘messed up’ and ‘didn’t do any checks’ in the hours before he killed himself.
The two guards were required to jointly conduct institutional counts at 4pm, 10pm, 12am, 3am and 5am of the prisoners in the unit.
Noel had began her employment with the Bureau of Prisons as a corrections officer at the Metropolitan Corrections Center in June 2018.
A veteran, she spent six years in the National Guard. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Law from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Prior to joining the federal Bureau of Prisons, she was an assistant mail handler for the US Postal Service for around a year.
Thomas began working with the Bureau of Prisons on April 1, 2007 and had held his current position as material handler supervisor at Metropolitan Correctional Center since April 20, 2014.
Epstein’s death and the revelation that he was able to kill himself while behind bars at one of the most secure jails in America was a major embarrassment for the Bureau of Prisons and cast a spotlight on the agency, which has also been besieged by serious misconduct in recent years.
Staffing shortages at the agency were so severe that guards often worked overtime day after day or are forced to work mandatory double shifts.
The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan was closed in September.
Maxwell, who now awaits sentencing after the jury’s verdict on Wednesday, has been kept in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since July 2020.
A date for Maxwell’s sentencing has not yet been set and last night she returned to her cell at the infamous MDC which she has repeatedly complained about, calling it a ‘living hell’ where she has been ‘assaulted and abused.’
Maxwell – the jet-setting daughter of a wealthy British newspaper tycoon; a glamorous society darling who mingled with former presidents, billionaires and royals – complained that her treatment in the MDC amounted to torture.
Her family wanted to take the case to the United Nations, claiming that she was subjected to inhumane treatment – fed rotten food, kept in excessively hot and cold conditions, and living in a cell that flooded with raw sewage.
Justin Paperny, a federal prison consultant, said that wherever she ends up next, it will mark the beginning of a significantly improved phase in her incarceration.
‘Her prison life won’t dramatically improve until she is sentenced,’ Paperny told DailyMail.com.
‘She’s enduring a difficult situation in Brooklyn.
‘It’s a very difficult place to serve time.’
Another prison expert told The Times her new situation would be ‘like Disneyland’ by comparison.
Paperny said the MDC had been infamous long before Maxwell set foot there.
In the winter of 2019, the power and heating failed, leading to outrage among relatives of 1,636 male and female inmates, and among activists.
A scathing report into conditions inside the jail commissioned in the aftermath was suppressed by the Bureau of Prisons until July this year, and the jail was described as violent, filthy, overcrowded and decrepit.
Paperny said the difference between the MDC and her post-sentencing prison will be stark.
‘Once she reaches prison she’ll feel like she’s won the lottery,’ he said.