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Four federal inmates who escaped from prison in Virginia are back in custody after four days

All four men who escaped from a federal detention camp in Virginia this weekend are now back in custody.

A manhunt took place involving the US Marshals Service, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to locate the four inmates, all serving sentences for drug or firearms offenses.

They were reported missing at about 1:45 a.m. Saturday at the satellite camp of the Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg in Hopewell, Virginia, during a security checkpoint.

Tavares Lajuane Graham returned to prison early Sunday, about 24 hours after departure.

Both Corey Branch and Kareem Allen Shaw surrendered shortly after midnight on Tuesday.

Lamonte Rashawn Willis was also back in jail on Wednesday, officers believed he may have returned to his home in Suffolk.

All four are currently being held at the federal institution in Hopewell, Murphy said.

Willis, 30, was sentenced to 216 months for possession and concealment of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

Willis, 30, was sentenced to 216 months for possession and concealment of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

Shaw, 46, was sentenced to 194 months for conspiracy to distribute a measurable amount of heroin

Shaw, 46, was sentenced to 194 months for conspiracy to distribute a measurable amount of heroin

Branch, 41, was sentenced to 160 months in prison on charges of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and possession of a firearm as a felon

Branch, 41, was sentenced to 160 months in prison on charges of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and possession of a firearm as a felon

Graham, 44, was given a total sentence of 120 months for possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and 28 grams or more of cocaine base

Graham, 44, was given a total sentence of 120 months for possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and 28 grams or more of cocaine base

The detainees were reported missing at the satellite camp of the Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg at about 1:45 a.m. Saturday, sparking a multi-agency manhunt, the BOP said.

As trustees, all four men were allowed access to life outside the walls of the complex under limited supervision.

According to the agency’s website, the minimum-security satellite camps have dormitories and limited or no fencing. They provide labor for prisoners to the main institution and to external work programs.

An official at the US Marshals Service office in Richmond, Virginia, said the four were apparently socially absent Friday night and chose not to return in time for the count.

Each now faces the option of extending their stay there for up to five years before escaping federal prison.

Graham, 44, was serving a 120-month sentence for possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and 28 grams or more of cocaine base and possession of a firearm to promote a drug trafficking offence, the agency said.

Branch, 41, was serving a 160-month sentence for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and felons in possession of a firearm.

Willis, 30, was serving a 216-month sentence for possession and concealment of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Shaw, 46, was serving a 194-month prison sentence for conspiracy to distribute a measurable amount of heroin, the agency said in a press release.

The Virginia Federal Correctional Complex in Petersburg, Virginia (FCC Petersburg) is a minimum security facility near Hopewell that has 185 male offenders

The Virginia Federal Correctional Complex in Petersburg, Virginia (FCC Petersburg) is a minimum security facility near Hopewell that has 185 male offenders

According to the Associated Press, the agency has been under investigation for prisoner escapes in recent years.

At some institutions, doors don’t stay open, security cameras are broken and officials sometimes don’t notice for hours that a detainee is missing.

Security is so lax at a Texas incarceration that local law enforcement officers privately joke about the apparent “open door” policy.

Last summer, the Associated Press reported that within 18 months – between 2019 and 2021, 29 inmates escaped federal incarceration in the US

All escapes took place in federal prison camps with minimal security, some of which don’t even have fences, and inmates that pose the lowest security risk, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

“Anyone can escape any camp any time of any day,” said Jack Donson, a prison counselor and former case manager at a federal prison in Otisville, New York. “They are not secured facilities. They have no fence, no metal detectors.”

The figures raise serious concerns that the agency, long beleaguered by chronic mismanagement, misconduct and a serious staffing crisis, is unable to perform its most basic function: keeping inmates in prison.

Federal officials often refer to them as “runaways,” although it is still a federal prison break under the law and law enforcement officers say there is still a risk to the community when an inmate goes into hiding.

“These are very small, unsafe facilities,” said Cameron Lindsay, a retired Bureau of Prisons director who now testifies as an expert witness on prison cases.

Because of their size and the generally low risk the inmates pose, federal prison camps often have the lowest staffing levels in the Bureau of Prisons system, sometimes with just one officer supervising inmates on duty, he said.

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