Sheriff's Department Confident About Tracking Down Escapees - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/10/04

Sheriff's Department Confident About Tracking Down Escapees

Inmates Charles Barnes and Keven Tackett both escaped last week.

Barnes escaped from the Jackson County Adult Detention Center.

Police say Tackett, a trustee inmate, escaped while on duty at the Jackson County Fairgrounds.

Within minutes of their escape, Jackson County Investigator Mick Sears was on the move.

Sears says the first thing he did was call dispatch to enlist the escapees in the National Crime Information Center or NCIC.

Next, the department checked the files. They looked at the visitor's log at the jail, interviewed inmates close to the escapees, even listened to past phone calls, all to get a clue as to where they could be headed.

"If it's a local guy who doesn't have any tendrils reaching out to other states, we can do most of the investigation ourselves," Sears says.

But if the inmate has connections and a history of out-of-state crimes, Sears says the hunt is a little more tricky, but not impossible.

"Probably the hardest ones to find are the people with no local connections because you have to reach out and ask for assistance from other departments to do your leg work, to do your surveillance, do your checking to see what you can come up with," Sears adds.

Sears says no matter where the inmates go, he's confident the department will find them.

In the last 15 years the department has recovered every single escapee.

Sears says for the inmate wanting to gamble, that's a hard odd to beat.

"Once you get caught, and you are going to get caught, you could get up to five more years tacked onto your sentence. Is a worth it? Take the chance. Roll the dice. If you get caught, you'll get more time," Sears says.

By: Jaimee Goad

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