The search continues for three of the inmates who walked out of federal prison in Hopewell


HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC)– 8News is continuing to seek answers about the four men who walked out of a federal prison facility early Saturday morning.

One man, Tavares Lajuane Graham walked out of the Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) Petersburg’s satellite camp in Hopewell but later turned himself in on Sunday morning. Corey Branch, Lamonte Willis and Kareem Shaw are still on the run.

Each had charges involving drugs and guns, so how did the four men walk out of a federal prison? According to the US Marshals, they took advantage of the system.

The four inmates had all finished their federal sentences and were put into a facility with less security, and more freedom.

“Basically they’re out in the community doing things during the day. And they’re supposed to be at their camp or dormitories at night,” said Supervisory Inspector Kevin Connolly of the United States Marshals Service.

According to Connolly impromptu head count was taken Friday night at 9:30 to make sure everyone was in the facility. It wasn’t until 1:45 a.m. that it was discovered the men were gone.

Connolly said the drop in security as inmates go through different phases of incarceration is a reality of the prison system.

“The reality is that how our society kind of phases people back in. The people they deem that can assimilate back into society get some real-life work skills when they’re out there,” Connolly said.

Nakeace Davis is a neighbor nearby the camp, and she said the ease with which these inmates escaped has put her on edge.

“My kids play around here all the time. So, the first thing I was thinking is, I don’t really want my kids outside anymore, ” Davis said.

Connolly said the men are facing an extra five-year sentence in maximum-security prison when caught. He added that anyone who aids in their escape could face federal consequences as well.

Connolly said he doesn’t believe anyone to be in danger.

Questions still remain about how it was so easy for people to leave a federal prison facility, but when 8News reached out to the facility, they gave no response.



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