Inmates found after escaping New England women’s prison

NEW ENGLAND — Two minimum security inmates who escaped from the Dakota Women’s Correctional and Rehabilitation Center late Wednesday night were arrested Thursday morning in Dickinson.

Dickinson Police Capt. Joe Cianni said the department’s dispatch received a tip about two women matching the description of Justice Lange and Jessica Briggs walking along the 300 block of Third Avenue West. Offi cers responded and identifi ed the women from their mugshots. Within three minutes, offi cers had taken the duo into custody without incident at approximately 10 a.m. near the 500 block of Third Avenue West.

They are being held at the Southwest Multi-County Correction Center in Dickinson.

Lange and Briggs escaped the correctional center at about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, Warden Rachelle Juntunen said Thursday.

Hettinger County Sheriff Sarah Warner said the duo stole a black 1992 GMC pickup truck off a New England street.

“They were just checking vehicles,” she said. “It again tells us that people need to lock their vehicles. We’re trying to stress that.”

The pickup was located near the corner of Seventh Street Southeast and Second Avenue Southeast shortly after the fugitives were taken into custody, Cianni said.

Lange was in the second year of an eight-year sentence stemming from her role in robbing two Bismarck businesses at gunpoint in February 2013. Briggs had served seven of an 18-month sentence for Class C felony drug paraphernalia possession.

Lange, who was born in 1993 and is from Carrington, was incarcerated in May 2013 after being sentenced for fi ve counts of Class B felony conspiracy to commit robbery and one count of Class C felony conspiracy to commit burglary. She admitted to robbing the MainStay Suites hotel and the Country West Shell gas station in Bismarck on Feb. 4, 2013, and conspiring to rob two other Bismarck hotels.

Briggs, who was born in 1982 and listed Fargo as her last address, was convicted in March after being arrested for possession of a methamphetamine pipe and needle on Feb. 10 in Minot .

Juntunen said the women were at the correctional center when they escaped. Some minimum security inmates at the center hold off-site jobs in New England and return to the prison in the evening.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol, the Adams County and Stark County sheriff’s offi ces and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation also assisted with the investigation.

“It was a combined effort of all of our resources that helped lead to their arrest,” Warner said.

Author: Dustin Monke

Former newspaper editor. Now I market the best baked goods and donuts in America. But every once in a while, I write a cool story too.

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