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Arizona Prison Inmate Escapes Work Crew in a City-Owned Vehicle; Inmate Still on the Loose

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An inmate at an Arizona prison is on the loose after escaping from a work crew at the Huachuca City Landfill in a city-owned vehicle this afternoon.

DOC spokesman Barrett Marson tells New Times that inmate Lonnie Smith took off from the work crew around 1 p.m. today and that authorities can't find him.

Marson says the work crew was supervised and DOC officials are in the process of trying to figure out how Smith slipped away.

Smith is a minimum-security inmate at the Arizona prison complex in
Douglas.

Heis was serving time for a drug paraphernalia
violation and misconduct involving a weapon.

A convicted felon, Smith picked up the weapons charge after he was
caught with a weapon in his home -- a big no-no in the world of felons.

He was originally sent to prison in 1996 on a theft and forgery
conviction.

He was scheduled to be released in June of 2012, which apparently
wasn't soon enough.

The DOC says it's notified the state Department of Public Safety,
Cochise County Sheriff's Office, Sierra Vista Police Department, the
U.S. Border Patrol, and other law enforcement agencies and has deployed
its own tracking teams to find Smith.

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