Second prison employee arrested after New York inmates’ escape

New York State Trooper Steven J. Gill searches a vehicle in Malone, N.Y., Tuesday, June 23, 2015, while searching for two prison escapees from Clinton Correctional Facility. Police began focusing intensely on an area 20 miles west of the prison that inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped from prison on June 6. (Jason Hunter/The Watertown Daily Times via AP) SYRACUSE OUT

BELLMONT, N.Y. (AP) – A correction officer at an upstate New York maximum-security prison has become the second worker there arrested in connection with the escapes of two inmates.

State police say Gene Palmer faces charges including promoting prison contraband and tampering with physical evidence. He was to be arraigned Wednesday night in Plattsburgh. A call to his attorney seeking comment wasn’t answered.

Inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt were reported missing from the Clinton County Correctional Facility in Dannemora on June 6.

Authorities say they cut through the steel wall at the back of their cells, crawled down a catwalk, broke through a brick wall, cut their way into and out of a steam pipe and then sliced through the chain and lock on a manhole cover outside the prison.

Prison employee Joyce Mitchell has been charged with helping them escape. She has pleaded not guilty.

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