Jail guard accused in Rikers escape-for-cocaine plot

NEW YORK - (AP) - A veteran New York City correction officer isaccused of agreeing to help an inmate escape jail in exchange forthree kilos of cocaine and cash.

Authorities say an undercover federal agent helped thwart RobertWhitfield's plan. An accomplice also was arrested.

The city's Department of Investigation says the officer plottedthe exchange of drugs for the inmate's escape from Rikers Island inphone conversations with a Drug Enforcement Administration agent.He was arrested Tuesday during a sting operation.

Whitfield was arraigned Wednesday in Manhattan. Defense attorneyPeter Troxler did not immediately return a call requesting comment.

The 48-year-old Whitfield has been a correction officer since1990.

Department of Correction Commissioner Dora B. Schriro said in a statement that the agency has "zerotolerance" for employees who compromise security.

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