Corrections worker Gene Palmer was arrested on Wednesday

By K.c. Blumm
Updated June 24, 2015 09:05 PM
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Credit: New York State Police

A corrections officer who allegedly helped smuggle hacksaw blades to two convicted murderers who later escaped has been arrested.

Gene Palmer, who worked at the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York, was arrested on Wednesday, the New York State Police confirmed in a press release.

He is charged with promoting prison contraband, two counts of tampering with physical evidence and one count of official misconduct.

Palmer, 57, worked with Joyce Mitchell, who was arrested and charged with providing material assistance to prisoners Richard Matt and David Sweat, who escaped on June 6.

Mitchell told investigators that she had taken hacksaw blades, a screwdriver bit and other tools and hidden them in hamburger meat and put them into a freezer, Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie told ABC News on Tuesday.

Palmer would them “come and collect it and bring it” to Matt, 48, and Sweat, 35, Wylie said.

The DA added that Palmer, who was placed paid leave, says he didn’t know the tools were inside, but bringing inmates food is considered contraband.

Palmer has yet to enter a plea. His attorney, Andrew Brockway, told CNN that Palmer regretted not running the frozen meat through a metal detector, adding, “The only mistake he made was trusting Joyce Mitchell.”

Sweat and Matt remain at large.

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