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August 21, 2013

ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that Roland Castro, 41, an inmate at the U.S. Penitentiary in Pollock, La., pleaded guilty to escaping a federal prison; and Timothy D. Willis, 49, of Philadelphia, Miss., pleaded guilty to assisting in Castro’s escape.  United States District Court Judge Dee D. Drell presided over the guilty plea hearing on Tuesday.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Castro was serving 240 months at the federal penitentiary in Pollock for a felon in possession of a firearm conviction.  Castro met Willis previously, and the two arranged to meet at an agreed-upon location on February 7, 2013.  Willis drove to the location on that date and picked up Castro.  Castro did not have permission to leave the prison.  After an emergency count of the prisoners was conducted, Castro was discovered missing.  Willis dropped Castro off near the prison, but Castro left instead of returning to custody.  Castro was apprehended on July 5, 2013, in Houston.

Castro and Willis each face up to five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release.  A sentencing date of November 14, 2013 was set.

The U.S. Marshals Service conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown is prosecuting the case.

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