Downtown Prison Guard Took Bribes to Overlook Contraband, Prosecutors Say

By Erin Meyer on February 7, 2013 11:33am | Updated on February 7, 2013 1:09pm

 A sign hangs on the side of the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in the Loop.
A sign hangs on the side of the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in the Loop.
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Scott Olson/Getty Images

CHICAGO — The U.S. Attorney's Office has announced charges against a Metropolitan Correctional Center guard for allegedly taking bribes to look the other way while people sneaked banned items into the facility. 

Tony Henderson, 51, is accused of violating Federal Bureau of Prisons rules on five occasions by allowing contraband, according to the indictment.

The U.S. Attorney's Office was quick to note that none of the instances or allegations against Henderson are related to the December escape of bank robbers Jose Banks and Kenneth Conley from the same facility.

Details of the contraband were not announced.

No trial date has been set for the case against Henderson, who lives in Portage, Ind.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, if Henderson is found guilty, each of the five counts comes with a maximum sentence of 15 years and fines.

The facility — MCC for short — is a hulking building at 71 W. Van Buren St. known for its tight security.

Both Conley and Banks, named the Secondhand Bandit during his robbery spree, were captured following an exhaustive manhunt.

But questions remain as to how the two men managed to amass enough bed sheets to assemble the makeshift rope that they allegedly used to shimmy to freedom from the 20th floor of the MCC.

Surveillance video caught Banks and Conley in civilian clothes jumping into a taxi.

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