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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Texas

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Beaumont Federal Inmate Charged in Prison Escape

BEAUMONT, Texas – A 38-year-old federal inmate has been indicted for escaping from a Federal Correctional Complex in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

James Ortega, of McKinney, Texas, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Apr. 6, 2016, and charged with escaping from federal custody.  Ortega made an initial appearance and was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zachary J. Hawthorn on May 3, 2016.

According to the indictment and information presented to the grand jury, Ortega was convicted of drug trafficking violations and was serving his sentence at the Federal Prison Camp located at the Federal Correctional Complex in Beaumont, Texas.  On Feb. 27, 2016, Ortega is alleged to have escaped from the facility.  On Feb. 29, 2016, Ortega voluntarily surrendered to authorities at the Federal Correctional Institution in Seagoville, Texas. 

                If convicted, Ortega faces up to an additional five years in federal prison.  The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.  A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Marshals Service and prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina V. Hauck.

An indictment is not evidence of guilt.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated May 4, 2016