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Escaped San Diego prisoner captured in Oregon

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. >> A convicted robber who escaped at an Illinois rest stop more than a month ago as he was being returned to prison in California was captured in Oregon on Monday.

Joshua Drinnon, 36, was arrested at a resource center for homeless people in Ashland, a city about 15 miles north of California, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

A private inmate transportation company was driving Drinnon back from a court hearing in Tennessee on Sept. 2 when he managed to get out of his restraints at a rest stop outside of Princeton, Illinois, scaled a fence and ran into a cornfield.

His escape launched a manhunt, but with no new leads the search was suspended after a couple of days.

U.S. Marshals deputies and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation special agents tracked Drinnon to Oregon. He was arrested without incident, and taken to a local jail while awaiting extradition, Thornton said.

Drinnon is serving a 17-year sentence at the Richard J. Donovan state prison in San Diego for committing an armed robbery in Morro Bay five years ago. He’s scheduled to be released to parole in 2025 but is facing an additional six years for aggravated robbery in Tennessee.

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