The four men who over the weekend broke out of a federal prison camp in Virginia are all now back in custody.
The US Marshals Service, FBI, and other law enforcement agencies conducted a manhunt to find the four prisoners, who are all serving time on drug- or firearms-related offenses.
During a security check on Saturday around 1:45 am, they were reported missing from the satellite camp of the Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg in Hopewell, Virginia.
Around 24 hours after leaving, Tavares Lajuane Graham went back to the prison early on Sunday.
Just after midnight on Tuesday, Corey Branch and Kareem Allen Shaw both turned themselves in.
By Wednesday, Lamonte Rashawn Willis was also back in custody; police thought he might have gone back to his Suffolk home.
According to Murphy, all four are now being held at the Hopewell, Virginia, federal facility.
A multi-agency manhunt was launched after the detainees’ disappearance from the satellite camp of the Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg was reported at around 1:45 on Saturday morning, according to the BOP.
The four men had limited access to life outside the complex’s boundaries because they were trustees.
The minimum-security satellite camps run by the agency contain dormitories and either little to no perimeter fencing. Both the primary facility and off-site work programs receive convict labor from them.
The four allegedly went out on Friday night for social purposes and choose not to come back in time for the head count, according to a representative of the U.S. Marshals Service office in Richmond, Virginia.
Because they escaped from a federal prison, everyone now faces the prospect of having their sentences increased by a maximum of five years.
According to the FBI, Graham, 44, was serving a 120-month sentence for having a handgun in his possession while also having the intent to traffic in 500 grams or more of cocaine and 28 grams or more of cocaine base.
Branch, 41, was a felon in possession of a handgun and was serving a 160-month sentence for fentanyl possession with the intent to distribute.
Willis, 30, was incarcerated for 216 months for having a stolen gun in his possession and for having a gun in his possession while a felon.
According to the news release from the agency, Shaw, 46, was given a 194-month sentence for conspiring to possess heroin with the purpose to distribute it in a significant amount.
According to the Associated Press, the bureau has already come under fire for inmate escapes over the last few years.
In some of the facilities, security cameras are damaged, doors are left open, and staff members may go hours without realizing an inmate has vanished.
Security is so inadequate at one Texas jail that local law enforcement officers privately make fun of its ostensibly “open-door policy.”
29 prisoners have escaped from federal prisons around the country in the 18 months between 2019 and 2021, according to a report published last summer by the Associated Press.
The Bureau of Prisons considers the residents of these minimum-security federal prison camps to pose the lowest security danger, and some of them don’t even have walls.
According to Jack Donson, a prison consultant and former case manager at a federal prison in Otisville, New York, “Anybody may escape from any camp any minute of any day.” These facilities are not secure. There is no fence or metal detectors there.
The figures cause grave alarm that the institution, which has long been plagued by malfeasance, chronic mismanagement, and a severe personnel shortage, is failing to carry out its most fundamental duty: keeping criminals behind bars.
Although it is still an escape from a federal prison under the law and law enforcement officials say there is still a risk to the community when an offender absconds, federal officials frequently refer to them as “walk-aways.”
Cameron Lindsay, a former Bureau of Prisons warden who now testifies as an expert witness on prison issues, claimed that “these are really small, insecure facilities.”
Federal prison camps sometimes have the lowest levels of personnel in the Bureau of Prisons system due to their size and the typically low risk that offenders offer, he added, sometimes with just one officer working to supervise inmates during a shift.