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Federal indictment charges couple with running “inmate taxi” helping prisoners escape Atlanta penitentiary

May 10, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Federal indictment charges couple with running “inmate taxi” helping prisoners escape Atlanta penitentiary

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A couple is facing federal charges for reportedly helping prisoners escape and running what authorities dubbed an “inmate taxi” out of an Atlanta federal penitentiary.

Federal inmate Deldrick Jackson and his fiancée Kelly Bass are facing charges for helping inmates escape from prison by giving a ride from the prison to outside locations. The “inmate taxi” scheme took place between November 2016 to April 2017.

In a Justice Department press release, U. S. Attorney John Horn said their conduct resulted in prison breaks. “Inmates who escape from custody threaten the safety of citizens. Safety concerns also arise when inmates return with contraband to feed a black market,” he stated.

A grand jury indicted 41-year-old Jackson and 38-year-old Bass, 38 on conspiracy and escape charges.

The indictment states, “on January 28, 2017, Bass picked up Jackson and other escaped inmates from outside USP Atlanta, drove them to a hotel, and hours later, returned Jackson and the other inmates to USP Atlanta. Financial records show that Bass received $4,000 from accounts associated with USP Atlanta inmates or their families during this six-month period.”

They were taken into custody in April after Jackson allegedly escaped from the minimum-security prison in Atlanta and was picked up by Bass. Police pulled over Bass’ vehicle and reportedly discovered two phones, a box filled with cigarettes and several bottles of alcohol. Authorities said these items are continually being smuggled into the prison.

Davis J. LeValley, Special Agent for the FBI Atlanta Field Office, said this exemplifies problems at the federal prison. “The indictment of both federal inmate Jackson and his girlfriend Kelly Bass not only illustrates clearly the problems at the U.S. Penitentiary Atlanta but the efforts underway by the FBI, working with the Atlanta Police and its other law enforcement partners, to remedy the matter.”

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