Vernal
3:06 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Uintah County Prison Escapees Captured

Two state inmates who escaped from the Uintah County Jail last week using nothing more than a plastic butterknife, are back in custody this morning  in Nebraska.

According to Uintah County Undersheriff John Laursen, 31-year-old Dallas Derrick and 21-year-old Jason Braham were arrested Sunday morning after they were found walking away from a broken down car along the highway near Lancaster, Nebraska. Local law enforcement separated the pair and after hearing conflicting stories, Derrick admitted to being wanted for escape.

Derrick and Braham used a plastic butter knife to break into a maintenance closet early Wednesday morning while working in the jail’s laundry room. After kicking out an air vent, they walked a mile and stole a vehicle. They told authorites they traveled North to Rock Springs, and then took Interstate 80 through Cheyenne and into Nebraska. They stole multiple vehicles along the way, ditching one when it ran out of gas and simply finding another one with keys in the ignition. Laursen estimates the pair stolen approximately 5 vehicles. Laursen said they told police they were just heading east, but never gave a final destination. The vent used by the inmates as their escape route has been blocked off and new materials have been ordered and will be in place in a couple of weeks.

Laursen said the Uintah County Sheriff’s Department has been working with the Utah Department of Corrections and all employees have been cleared of any wrong doing. The Department of Corrections is also satisfied that the problem has been fixed and will not be pulling any of the other state inmates out of the jail.

Currently Derrick and Braham are being held in Lincoln, Nebraska on possession of a stolen vehicle. Along with the charges they face in Vernal and Naples, they most likely will be charged for various other crimes in Wyoming and Nebraska.