Former Leavenworth Guard Sentenced for Tobacco Smuggling

A former prison guard at the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth has been sentenced to two years of probation for accepting bribes in exchange for providing inmates with contraband tobacco.

The U.S. attorney’s office says 53-year-old Michael Harston, of Kansas City, Missouri, also was ordered Monday to serve six months home confinement and pay $4,800 in fines.
The indictment said Harston took bribes from October 2013 to August 2014. Federal prosecutors said video surveillance at the prison captured Harston distributing tobacco to inmates.

The indictment also says Harston received payments from inmates’ relatives through wire transfers ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.

The United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth was downgraded from a maximum-security federal prison to a medium-security prison in 2005. The all-male prison has about 1,900 prisoners.