An Arkansas sheriff’s office says it has fired a pair of jail officials following the escape of two inmates last week -- one of which authorities said is the leader of a “violent” white supremacist gang.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, in a statement released Monday, said a female jail supervisor and female deputy jailer at the W.C. Brassell Adult Detention Center were terminated from their positions. Police say the two inmates that escaped – Wesley Gullett and Christopher Sanderson – fled the jail in Pine Bluff between Monday night and early Tuesday morning last week. Both men have since been captured, but it emerged that they may have escaped more than a day before guards noticed.
“Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr., says had the supervisor and jailer followed protocol that is in place as it relates to conducting cell checks and immediately reporting issues, search efforts would have been successful a lot sooner,” the statement reads.
“The termination action cites inefficiency and substandard work performance,” the statement added. “Both employees, whose names are not being released, can appeal the termination decision within 10 working days to the sheriff.”
The Sheriff’s Office says its staff are “required to make multiple checks of pods thus aiding in the prevention of escapes and to identify obvious signs of distress or trauma”, but in this case, “the internal investigation shows that did not take place.”
“Each staff member is provided a policy and procedures manual,” Woods also said. “We recognize that this profession much like the enforcement side of our operations is a highly stressful environment. But, we still expect all of our staff to perform their duties and functions thoroughly and efficiently.”
Gullett, the Associated Press says, is listed in court documents as being the “outside” president of the New Aryan Empire Gang. The Justice Department described the gang earlier this year as being a “racketeering enterprise which committed violent acts -- including attempted murder, kidnapping, and maiming -- in support of its organization and its wide-ranging drug-trafficking operation.”
Gullett surrendered Thursday in Dover after Chief David Dalrymple of the Dover Marshal’s Office spotted him, River Valley Now reported. Hours later, Sanderson, surrendered to the Arkansas State Police troopers and federal marshals after being located around the Ozark National Forest near Pelsor, according to the Associated Press.
Fox News' Kira Grant contributed to this report.