Jeffrey Epstein jail on lockdown amid fears prisoner smuggled in a gun

Danielle Zoellner
Jeffrey Epstein died in his prison cell on 10 August: AP

Jeffrey Epstein's federal jail is under lockdown currently over fears a prisoner has smuggled in a gun, according to the Associated Press.

Authorities are currently trying to determine if someone was capable of smuggling a gun into one of the most secure jails in the country, which is located in New York City.

The facility is on "modified operations due to an ongoing investigation," the federal Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.

The federal prison is notable for where financier Epstein committed suicide after getting arrested on charges of sex trafficking minors in Florida and New York.

Officials have not officially determined if a weapon was brought into the Metropolitan Correctional Centre but have placed the jail on lockdown as the facility is investigated, AP reports.

All guest visits have been cancelled as the facility is on its "modified operations". This allows for officials to restrict the movements of inmates and cancel planned activities while they search the facility.

The facility houses more than 700 inmates and was previously referred to as the "Guantanamo of New York" by the Los Angeles Times for its security measures.

All inmates and guests are searched upon entering the facility. Mail is also screened before it is delivered to anyone, so a gun appearing in the jail would be a severe security breach.

The facility keeps its prisoners relatively isolated by housing them in one of 10 self-contained housing units.

Notable inmates currently in the jail include lawyer Michael Avenatti, who is known for representing Stormy Daniels. He was convicted for attempting to extort Nike and is currently awaiting sentencing in the jail.

Jeffrey Epstein's former jail went into lockdown over concerns a gun was smuggled into the facility (Getty Images)

The federal prison also previously housed Cesar Sayoc, who was convicted of mailing multiple mail bombs to Democrats and CNN, and Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, known as "El Chapo", when the Mexican drug lord was awaiting sentencing.

Epstein died in his jail cell on 10 August after being taken off suicide watch. The medical examiner ruled his death a suicide, but Epstein's lawyers say otherwise.

An investigation is ongoing into Epstein's death by the Justice Department.

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