Former Leavenworth prison guard gets probation for supplying tobacco for cash

A former guard at the Leavenworth federal prison was sentenced to probation Monday for taking bribes and supplying prisoners with contraband tobacco, according to federal prosecutors.

Michael Harston, 53, of Kansas City, was sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to accept bribes and one count of accepting bribes.

Harston was also ordered to serve six months of home confinement and pay $4,800 in fines.

As part of the plea, Harston admitted that while working as a guard at the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth he delivered tobacco to inmates who arranged for family and friends outside the prison to pay Harston. Harston received as much as $1,000 for a 6-ounce can of loose tobacco.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice and prison officials.