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One escaped Virginia inmate back in custody, three still on the run

Posted at 4:31 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 04:50:45-04

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. — One of four inmates who walked away from the Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg’s satellite camp has turned himself back into authorities.

Tavares Lajuane Graham, 44, is now back in custody, according to the United States Marshals Service.

Graham was serving a 10-year sentence at the minimum security facility on drug and gun charges.

Officials do not believe Graham, nor the other escapees are violent threats to the community.

“I mean it’s a scary feeling," Danita Burch, who works near where the men escaped, said. "Sometimes you hear about one, but to hear about three? That’s quite a bit.”

Corey Branch, Tavares Lajuane Graham, Lamonte Rashawn Willis, and Kareem Allen Shaw
Corey Branch, Tavares Lajuane Graham, Lamonte Rashawn Willis, and Kareem Allen Shaw

Corey Branch, Lamonte Rashawn Willis, and Kareem Allen Shaw also walked away from the dorm-like facility late Friday night.

Due to its minimum security nature, the inmates are not always behind a fence.

Branch, 41, was serving 13 years for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and felon in possession of a firearm.

Willis, 30, was serving 18 years for possessing and concealing a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Shaw, 46, was serving 16 years for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a measurable quantity of heroin.

While officials don't believe the men to be a violent threat, police in the area do suggest people who live near the facility be aware of their surroundings.

Federal Correctional Center Petersburg 02.png

"They're somewhere within our region. So protect yourselves and keep your properties secure," Petersburg Police Chief Travis Christian said. "If you see people lurking around in your neighborhoods that you're not used to seeing, you need to contact the police so that we can come out and least check the individuals out.”

The Bureau of Prisons shared the following statement with CBS6:

For safety and security reasons, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) does not discuss internal security practices or provide information on general institution unit layouts, nor do we elaborate on internal investigations. However, we can provide the following information:

The BOP has highly skilled professionals that strive to ensure the safety and security of our institutions. In instances when a minimum-security inmate “walks away” from the facility, notifications are made to media sources to ensure the community stays informed, as well as external law enforcement agencies for purposes of apprehending the inmate. The BOP remains vigilant in its efforts to maintain safe and secure institutions at all times. Following any incident, including walkaways, a review is conducted to determine if any security weakness exists and, if warranted, corrective actions are taken.

Additionally, note the following regarding Camp placement:

Camps are Minimum security facilities. Inmates designated to Camps are OUT or COMMUNITY custody, the lowest custody levels. Camp inmates are eligible for the least secure housing, work on outside details with minimal supervision and may participate in community-based programs and activities. Inmates designated to Camps pose minimal risk to the community, to include no sex offenses, public safety factors, terrorism offenses, serious violence, history of serious escape and institution misconduct.

Anyone with information was asked to call the United States Marshals Service at 804-545-8501.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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