Former ND state pen guard pleads not guilty to smuggling contraband

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A former guard at the North Dakota State Penitentiary in Bismarck will go to trial in March after he accused of sneaking drugs and electronics to an inmate in the prison in exchange for money.

Matthew Taylor, of Mandan, on Monday waived his preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty to two felonies. The more serious charge carries a possible 20-year prison sentence.

Taylor was working as a correctional officer at the penitentiary in November of last year when the North Dakota Highway Patrol began an investigation.

Prosecutors say he received $900 from a woman to deliver a cellphone, two computer memory cards and a cigarette package to an inmate, who later tested positive for methamphetamine.

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