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The Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Jeffrey Epstein was held after his arrest. Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday dropped charges against two prison guards who said they falsified records on the night Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide, AP reports.

The big picture: The two guards —Tova Noel and Michael Thomas — fulfilled an agreement to cooperate with the Justice Department in exchange for avoiding jail time, prosecutors noted in a court document.

Catch up quick: District Judge Analisa Torres ordered the charges dismissed after federal prosecutors moved on Friday to drop the charges.

  • "Under the agreements, prosecution was deferred for a period of six months during the term of Noel's and Thomas's good behavior, completion of community service, and satisfactory compliance with the terms of the agreement," prosecutors wrote.

Flashback: Noel and Thomas were accused of sleeping on the job and browsing the internet instead of making their required rounds.

  • Epstein's cell was 15 feet from the guards when he was found dead by suicide in August of 2019.

Go deeper

Jan 12, 2022 - Sports

The story of trans Penn swimmer Lia Thomas

Penn's Lia Thomas during a meet with Yale and Dartmouth on Saturday. Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Lia Thomas, a 22-year-old transgender woman who swims for the University of Pennsylvania, is dominating in the pool this season.

Why it matters: Thomas' record-breaking campaign comes amid a debate over transgender inclusion in sport — one that has become increasingly politicized as anti-trans legislation sweeps across the U.S.

Scramble over gas for EU as Russia threatens Ukraine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Cracks in the NATO alliance regarding sanctions for Russia should President Vladimir Putin order troops into Ukraine are in large part based on energy supply concerns.

Why it matters: Russia holds tremendous leverage over some European countries because it provides roughly 40% of Europe's natural gas supply. In Germany, this figure is greater than 50%.

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.

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