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Police: Man escapes from prison, gets caught breaking back in

WARTBURG, Tenn. (AP) — An inmate denies escaping a Tennessee prison and returning with contraband to sell on the prison’s black market.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports 37-year-old Robert Fusco pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the allegations. An indictment says Fusco is among eight people, including two former correctional officers, who were indicted this month in the scheme.

It says Fusco was serving time for aggravated kidnapping when he escaped in January. He was caught sneaking in days later with drugs, cellphones and tobacco. Three other inmates are charged with helping him.

A former president of the local correctional officer’s union, 34-year-old Josh Sexton, is charged with official misconduct. Twenty-nine-year-old ex-correctional officer Megan Cheryl Jones is charged with having sexual contact with Fusco and smuggling.

“We have been, and will continue to be, relentless in the prosecution of those that violate their oath and violate the law. Any person threatening this department’s mission will be held accountable be it staff, inmate or community member,” said Tennessee Department of Corrections Commissioner Tony Parker in a statement released on the department’s Facebook page.

It’s unclear if anyone has legal representation.