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Prison Worker Joyce Mitchell Did Not Give Inmates Power Tools, Prosecutor Says

by John Yang, Stephanie Gosk and Erin McClam /  / Updated 

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Joyce Mitchell, the prison worker who has fallen under suspicion in the escape of two killers in New York, did not provide the two men power tools, but she did take contraband into the prison, the local prosecutor said Friday.

Andrew Wylie, the Clinton County district attorney, declined to say what the contraband was. Speaking generally, he said that contraband could be anything from toothpaste to blades and drugs.

Asked whether bringing in contraband would be considered criminal activity, he said: “Of course it is.”

Wylie also said that Mitchell was previously investigated because of a complaint that she was too close to one of the escaped inmates, David Sweat, but he said there was no evidence to discipline her.

Related: Inmates 'Groom' Staff at Breakout Prison, Sources Say

Sweat and Richard Matt escaped almost a week ago from maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility in the town of Dannemora, sawing out of their cells with power tools before clambering through the works of the building and out through a manhole.

On Friday, the hunt expanded to include more than 800 law enforcement officers, working with search dogs and helicopters. More than 700 leads have been called in, the New York State Police said.

Sources close to the investigation told NBC News on Thursday that Mitchell was charmed by Matt, to the point that “she thought it was love,” and planned to be the men's getaway driver before she got cold feet.

Wylie said that investigators are still questioning Mitchell, who is a supervisor in the prison’s tailor shop. He said that she is under surveillance but not in protective custody. He said that she does not have a lawyer.

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