Nurse who smuggled tobacco into prison sentenced

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A former nurse at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington has been sentenced for smuggling tobacco into the prison, in exchange for payments from inmates.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves sentenced 47 year-old Michael Hardin, formerly employed as a registered nurse at the Federal Medical Center, to twelve months in prison, for bribery of a public official. Under federal law, Hardin must serve the entire term of his sentence; and at the conclusion of his incarceration, he must serve one year of home detention. Hardin will also be required to complete 400 hours of community service during his three-year term of supervised release.

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According to his plea agreement, from July 2014 to August 2015, Hardin smuggled tobacco into the prison facility for inmates, who paid him a total of $22,429 in return. The inmates used family members and friends to send the money to Hardin. As a condition of his plea agreement, Hardin repaid all the money he received.  Prisoners incarcerated in federal correctional facilities, including FMC Lexington, are prohibited from possessing contraband, such as tobacco.