Florida prisons are not escape proof and two criminals beat the system using ordinary intelligence. Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement assisted by The U.S. Marshall’s Service caught and arrested escape convicts Charles Walker, 34, along with Joseph Jenkins, 34. The two were taken into custody at a motel in Panama City Florida after wide media coverage of the breakout.
Authorities were perplexed as to how Jenkins and Walker performed the break out using fake documents of release. The two are convicted murderers who forged release records and were processed out of custody by prison authorities. Law enforcement officials used the families of the escaped convicts in press interviews to coax them to give themselves up.
In a press conference, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner, Gerald Bailey said, “While the manhunt is over, there is still a lot that we do not know. I can tell you, there will be more arrest.” The commissioner assured the public that a full investigation would be conducted to find out how the fraud was accomplished. The two inmates are expected to face heavy questioning after their high level breakout.
Florida prisons escape proof? That’s the question put to challenge by the two men doing life sentences for murder. Commissioner Bailey speculated that the men paid $8,000 for documents used to perpetrate the fraudulent release. The Orlando Sentinel reported that Bailey was uncertain if the pair of crooks had an inside connection that assisted with the fraud.
Frank Chiumento, chief of the U.S. Marshals Service for Florida and the Carribbean, said the escaped inmates went their separates ways after the breakout. When it was publicized of the escape they joined up and traveled to Panama City from Orlando Florida. Chiumento stated the men were surveillance for two days before authorities took them into custody.
Authorities said the men were able to be tracked by the contacts they maintained while serving their sentences. People that placed money on their prison accounts, old girlfriend and family members were all scrutinized to assist with the inmates recapture. The quick work of joint law enforcement task forces and thorough investigative tracking led to the quiet take down of the escaped convicts.
Upon walking out of the Franklin Correctional Facility the men started living regular lives. Jenkins convicted on first degree murder for a botched robbery of Roscoe Pugh of Orlando, had returned to the area to resume his life. Pugh’s family made a call to the prosecutor’s office which sparked the manhunt and the arrest.
Walker was let out of prison and given a bus ticket home by prison officials. Walker began going to church with his mother and registered as a felon as designated by law of released former prison inmates. Walker’s mother had no idea his release was based on forged documents and was surprised when the story broke.
The escape of the two inmates has cast a national light on the Florida prisons proving they’re not escape proof. The Department of Corrections has vowed to make changes in prisoners release in light of the recent debacle. The state Department of Law Enforcement is continuing to investigate the consequences that led to the release of the two inmates.
By Thomas Barr