UPDATE: The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that the last of the four prisoners who escaped from the Federal Correctional Complex in Hopewell is now in custody.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Lamonte Willis turned himself into authorities without incident at the Federal Correctional Center Petersburg at around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Three out of the four inmates who escaped from a Hopewell minimum security prison over the weekend have now turned themselves in to authorities.
On the early morning of Tuesday, June 21 — just after midnight — 41-year-old Corey Branch and 46-year-old Kareem Allen Shaw surrendered themselves to authorities without incident. The news comes a little over a day after Tavares Lajuane Graham, another inmate who had escaped from the Hopewell prison, turned himself in on Sunday, June 19.
Supervisory Inspector Kevin Connolly told 8News that the U.S. Marshals Office has been working closely with local law enforcement teams as well as the Federal Bureau of Prisons on the investigation of the incident.
According to law enforcement, 30-year-old Lamonte Rashawn Willis is still at large. Authorities told 8News they are focusing their search for Willis in the area of Suffolk, Virginia, where Willis is from. Authorities have released the following photo and description of him:
Willis was sentenced in the Eastern District of Virginia to a 216-month sentence for possessing and concealing a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Willis, 30, is a Black male with brown eyes. He stands 6-foot 2-inches tall and weighs approximately 165 pounds.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, all four inmates were discovered missing from the Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) Petersburg’s satellite camp in Hopewell on Saturday, June 18, during an impromptu head count at around 1:45 a.m. According to Inspector Connolly, it is believed the inmates escaped from the Hopewell facility sometime after 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Branch was previously sentenced in the Eastern District of Virginia to 160 months for possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Shaw had been sentenced in the Western District of Virginia to 194 months for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. Graham, the inmate who surrendered on Sunday, was sentenced in North Carolina to 120 months for possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and more than 28 grams of cocaine base. He was also charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Connolly told 8News he believes that the media’s coverage of the incident has played a role in the three escapees’ decisions to turn themselves in. All four inmates will be charged for the escape, which could lead to an additional five years in their sentences, according to Connolly.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Willis is asked to submit a tip to the U.S. Marshals website or the USMS Tips application for mobile phones. Individuals who submit can remain anonymous and may be eligible to receive a reward of up to $2,000.