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Jailer pleads guilty to the old "file in a cake escape" scheme.

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Jailer pleads guilty to the old "file in a cake escape" scheme.

Old 02-05-08, 12:40 PM
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Jailer pleads guilty to the old "file in a cake escape" scheme.

Ok, I don't know if there was actually a cake involved. But I don't get how you could be convinced to help men convicted of murder to escape from jail:


A jailer who admitted smuggling saw blades in a foiled attempt to help federal drug suspects escape custody pleaded guilty Monday to five felony charges.

Keri Ann Brandt, 21, entered her pleas in U.S. District Court, dabbing her eyes with a tissue, and now faces up to 30 years in prison for her part in the botched escape.

Brandt was one of two female jailers charged with the attempt to allow the escape of brothers Gabriel and Ramon Martinez, high-ranking members of a drug ring dubbed “Operation Speed Racer.” Chris Myers, an assistant U.S. attorney, said Brandt had driven to a Menard’s store in Minot on Sept. 8 to buy saw blades that were used to try to cut through bars on a cell window.

At first Brandt thought the brothers’ suggestions that she help them to escape were a joke, but eventually she realized their suggestions were serious and took part, Myers said.

The attempt came after a top-level co-defendant of the Martinez brothers, Jorge Arandas, changed his plea and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in a trial slated to begin April 7. “That triggered the events,” Myers said.

Gabriel Ramon is charged with murder in the 2005 shooting of Lee Avila, 28, of East Grand Forks, Minn., a hit allegedly ordered because of a drug debt. The brothers’ escape plot unraveled after other corrections officials at the North Central Correctional and Rehabilitation Center in Rugby, N.D., spotted saw blades during a cell search.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson accepted Brandt’s pleas, which included conspiracy and obstruction of justice, and set her sentencing hearing for April 30.

Her plea was entered under a sealed agreement reached with federal prosecutors.

The other jailer charged in connection with the plot, Becky Starr Willison, has pleaded not guilty. Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522
Old 02-05-08, 12:57 PM
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What a stupid lady, I hope was has fun rotting in jail. Why wouldn't she tell her bosses?
Old 02-05-08, 01:11 PM
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I doubt any prison can hold these guys, though. Watch them tunnel out of their cell.


Into the potted plant in the warden's office!

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