Following a weeklong lockdown at the jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself last August, federal investigators discovered a loaded gun Thursday that had been smuggled into the facility, according to the Associated Press.
The search of the Manhattan facility began last week after officials were told that a gun may have been smuggled into the jail. The lockdown resulted in the discovery of other contraband and led to a criminal investigation into guard misconduct.
The handgun, which was located by Bureau of Prisons (BOP) officers inside a jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, marked a major violation of prison protocol, raising serious questions about security practices at the facility.
Over the past few days, officers have found a substantial amount of contraband, including cellphones, narcotics, and homemade weapons, according to the BOP.
The BOP said the contraband presents a major threat to the facility's security.
"All of these items pose a significant threat to the safety and security of the facility as well as the public," the agency said in a statement. "The BOP is committed to the safety of staff, inmates, and the public while continuing to ensure that those responsible for misconduct and criminal activity are held accountable."