Best of the Week


Source: ‘You’ll never believe it, we found the gun.’


Michael Balsamo, law enforcement reporter, Washington, and Mike Sisak, reporter, New York, delivered back-to-back scoops on the Metropolitan Correctional Center, the jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself, that is billed as one of the most secure in America.

Balsamo and Sisak learned through sources that the jail was on lockdown because of a report of a possible gun that had been smuggled inside. Next, they had a scoop when investigators looking for the gun found contraband instead, including cellphones, narcotics and homemade weapons. The spot news died down, but they stayed focused on the story and it paid off: A source called Balsamo and said off the record: “You’ll never believe it, we found the gun!” The smuggled items marked a massive breach of prison protocol and raised serious questions about the security practices in place at the Bureau of Prisons.

Balsamo prepped an alert and had a story ready to go by the time officials were ready to confirm it. AP’s exclusive was used by virtually every major outlet.

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