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Dalton man indicted for escaping from federal prison 3 times

Jaye Thomas of Dalton was indicted on August 1 on three counts of escaping from federal custody. (Image: MGN/Cropped Photo: Christopher Thomas / CC BY-SA 2.0 )

A federal inmate from Dalton now faces an indictment on three counts of escaping from federal custody.

Authorities say 36-year-old Jaye L. Thomas escaped the prison camp at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta on three separate occasions in 2016.

“Thomas allegedly escaped from Atlanta’s federal prison multiple times in 2016,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “When inmates escape from custody, they threaten the safety of our communities nearby the prison and undermine our system of criminal justice.”

“The federal indictment of federal inmate Thomas once again clearly reflects that those inmates walking away or otherwise leaving the grounds of United States Penitentiary Atlanta property will be dealt with as escapees. The potential harm to the public as well as the breakdown of order that these individuals can cause these corrections facilities when they re-enter with contraband items that have included alcohol and cell/smart phones is significant and should not and will not be tolerated,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.

The U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta (“USP Atlanta”) is a medium-security prison for male inmates operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. USP Atlanta also operates a satellite prison camp for minimum-security male inmates.

In January 2015, Thomas was convicted of possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute it. From approximately January to December 2016, he was assigned to the USP Atlanta prison camp, with a scheduled release date of December 28, 2022.

The indictment alleges that Thomas escaped from USP Atlanta on three separate occasions in 2016 (March 22, April 4, and September 25, 2016). The investigation against Thomas originated when law enforcement officers reviewed photographs from a surveillance camera that reportedly showed Thomas in a wooded area outside of prison property. Subsequently, law enforcement officers obtained documentary evidence and eyewitness testimony to support the escape charges against Thomas.

Thomas was indicted on August 1 on three counts of escaping from federal custody.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Atlanta Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey W. Davis and Timothy H. Lee are prosecuting the case.

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