The last inmate to occupy a cell with Jeffrey Epstein was personally questioned by U.S. Attorney General William Barr shortly after the disgraced financier’s apparent suicide, according to a report Monday.
Barr questioned Efrain “Stone” Reyes, who had been transferred out of the cell he shared with Epstein at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan the day before the apparent suicide happened on Aug. 10, 2019, New York Daily News reported, citing an unnamed source.
Fox News could not independently verify the report. The Justice Department did not return a request for comment Tuesday.
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Reyes was transferred to the privately run Queens Detention Facility the day before Epstein’s death. After Epstein was found hanging from cloth tied to a bed frame inside his jail cell, a source told the newspaper that Reyes frequently left the Queens jail for meetings with authorities and was joined by Barr himself for one interview.
The attorney general reportedly asked about the staff at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
“Barr wanted to know about what was going on in there. Barr told him, ‘I owe you a favor, thank you for telling us the truth,’” the source, who befriended Reyes while they were both held at the Queens Detention Facility, reportedly told the Daily News.
“He said [Barr] was a good guy. Barr was nice about it. He just wanted to know if [inmates] were being mistreated. What [Reyes] believed happened. Just basically that. He told them everything. He cooperated with Barr,” the source recalled.
Reyes, a convicted drug dealer, died in November at his mother’s apartment in the Bronx, according to the newspaper. The 51-year-old contracted the coronavirus at the Queens Detention Facility and was released in April. His cause of death was unclear from the report.
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The unnamed source, who also contracted COVID-19 at the jail, told the Daily News that he was confident that Reyes died from complications associated with the virus given he was having “lung issues” and would “cough all the time” during their time spent together in lockup.
He said he wanted to dispel “conspiracy” theories that Reyes’ death was in some way linked to Epstein.
Epstein’s lawyer, Reid Weingarten, told Fox News on Tuesday that he did not know if Barr personally interviewed Reyes and would not speculate any further.
Barr and Epstein appear to have a weak connection given both grew up in New York City.
Before his career in the financial world, Epstein joined the faculty at one of New York’s most prestigious preparatory schools in 1976, The New York Times reported in July 2019. A few months earlier in 1976, Donald Barr – the attorney general’s father – announced he was resigning as the Dalton School’s headmaster, citing meddling by the board of trustees, though he would stay on until year-end.
It was unclear whether Barr played a role in hiring Epstein. Following Epstein’s 2019 federal indictment alleging he facilitated the international sex trafficking of underage girls for the elite, several alumni who were students at the time Epstein was a teacher recalled his preoccupation with their female classmates. Epstein was never accused of crimes related to his short tenure at the school.
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Two correctional officers at the Metropolitan Correctional Center — Tova Noel and Michael Thomas – have pleaded not guilty to federal charges alleging that they slept on the job and falsified records to make it seem like they had done the required rounds every 30 minutes as required to check on inmates’ well-being during their overnight shift before Epstein’s body was found.
Their trial has been pushed back several times and is currently scheduled for June 14, 2021, according to Law & Crime.
Both officers discovered Epstein’s dead body in his cell at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 10, 2019, according to the federal indictment.
Epstein had been placed on suicide watch for several days that July before he was removed and was assigned a cellmate given his psychological condition. On Aug. 9, 2019, Epstein’s cellmate was transferred out of the MCC “in a routine, pre-arranged transfer at approximately 8 a.m.” Despite the MCC’s psychological staff’s direction that Epstein have a cellmate, “no new cellmate was assigned to Epstein’s cell,” according to court documents.
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That cellmate was not named in the filing and was first identified as Reyes by the Daily News last month. Reyes’ niece, Angelique Lopez, told the newspaper her uncle was the last inmate to share a cell with Epstein. Reyes had died before Lopez gave the interview.