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4 federal inmates escape from Washington state jail

The Associated Press

SUNNYSIDE, Wash.- Four federal inmates, including a convicted rapist, used metal torn from a mop bucket to carve a hole in the ceiling and escaped from the town jail, police said.

The prisoners, held under a contract with the U.S. Marshals Service, cut through an inch of reinforced concrete to reach some ducts and gain access to the roof shortly before daybreak Thursday, Deputy Police Chief Phil Schenck said.

"It was very quick and we're very surprised by it," he said.

Authorities said all four were considered dangerous and a $5,000 reward was offered for their capture. Three had been held on immigration charges and the fourth was to be sentenced Thursday for illegal possession of a firearm.

One of the men, Rolando Cortez-Orozco, 34, was convicted of kidnapping and rape in 1999. He was to have been sentenced Thursday on an immigration violation.


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