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USP Atlanta Escapes Result in Convictions

by Monte McCoin

PLN previously reported the February 3, 2017 arrest of federal prisoner Justin B. Stinson, who was caught sneaking back into the minimum-security prison camp at USP Atlanta carrying a duffel bag filled with a cell phone, scissors, two 1.75 liters of Jose Cuervo tequila, two cartons of Newport cigarettes, four boxes of Black & Mild cigars and food items. [See: PLN, Mar. 2017, p.33].

Stinson’s escape to procure the contraband was one of a series of breakouts at the prison dating as far back as 2013. He pleaded guilty to one count of escaping from federal custody and was sentenced in June 2017 to an additional 15 months, to be served after the completion of his current sentence on a weapons charge.

On June 6, 2017, two other defendants pleaded guilty to helping multiple prisoners escape and return to USP Atlanta. Deldrick D. Jackson, 41, and his fiancée Kelly M. Bass, 38, admitted they received roughly $4,000 from prisoners for using a smartphone app to meet them at a point of egress from the facility, then drive them to restaurants, hotels and homes in an improvised “taxi service.” Jackson has not yet been sentenced, while in September 2017 Bass received six months followed by two years of supervised release.

Also, on September 20, 2017, an additional 15 months was added to the sentence of prisoner Fernando Settles, who had left the Atlanta facility in May 2017 to celebrate his birthday. He was captured in a wooded area near the prison’s perimeter; he had two empty black duffel bags and a cell phone in his possession. Shortly after Settles was apprehended, USP Atlanta Warden Darlene Drew abruptly retired from her position after 32 years with the federal Bureau of Prisons.

All four arrests and prosecutions were part of a larger federal investigation into similar incidents at the facility. 


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