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Ex-Epstein Cellmate: Guards Are Warning Me Not to Talk

Nick Tartaglione says he wants to be relocated
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2019 1:09 PM CDT
In this Feb. 9, 2001, photo, former Briarcliff Manor Police officer Nick Tartaglione is shown at home with his former K-9 partner "Angus".   (Stuart Bayer/The Journal News via AP)
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(Newser) – Jeffrey Epstein's old cellmate says he's living under threatening conditions in a Manhattan jail and wants to be relocated, LoHud reports. Nicholas Tartaglione—an ex-cop awaiting trial on a quadruple homicide—said via his lawyer Tuesday that Metropolitan Correctional Center guards are issuing dire warnings if either of them speak up. Tartaglione and the lawyer, Bruce Barket, better "'shut up,' 'stop talking' and 'stop complaining' to name a few of the comments various guards have made," said Barket in a letter to a federal judge. "The clear message Mr. Tartaglione has received is that if he conveys information about the facility or about the recent suicide, there will be a price to pay."

If investigators into Epstein's death ask Tartaglione about the suicide—"to which he was witness"—or about widely criticized conditions at the facility, "the correction officers know he has information potentially very damaging to the very people now charged with guarding him or their coworkers," the letter adds. Barket goes on to echo criticisms of the jail, like its alleged insect and rodent infestation, moldy sinks, and leaky cells. Tartaglione is seeking placement in another lockup, but federal prosecutors say he's no longer welcome in New York City's other federal detention center over a "disciplinary infraction" there—which Barket denies ever occurred, per the New York Post. (Tartaglione was accused of attacking Epstein in July.)

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