Lexington prison employee accused of accepting bribes, smuggling tobacco

An employee at the Federal Medical Center prison in Lexington took more than $22,000 in bribes to smuggle tobacco to inmates, a federal grand jury charged Thursday.

The grand jury indicted Michael Hardin on one count of taking bribes and one count of supplying contraband to inmates between July 2014 and Aug. 11, 2015.

The indictment seeks a judgment of $22,429 against Hardin if he is convicted, representing the amount he allegedly made from illegal activity.

A magistrate judge issued a summons for Hardin to make his initial court appearance Oct. 26. The bribery charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.