Anonymous tip led to Bastrop prison escapee’s capture

Morriset escapee

BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — A federal inmate who escaped from a minimum security prison in Bastrop County was caught in Burnet County early Tuesday morning, thanks to an anonymous tip from what city officials called “a concerned citizen.” Burnet police found Jimmy Morrisett inside the attic of an abandoned home in the 1600 block of West Buchanan on State Highway 29 around 11 p.m. Morrisett, who lived in Burnet before his conviction, had escaped from the Federal Correctional Institute satellite camp in Bastrop Sunday night.

Police say that after they found Morrisett, he told them he had a gun and that he wasn’t going back to prison. That’s when the Texas Department of Public Safety SWAT team was called in to help with the situation. After several hours of negotiating with Morrisett, he was finally arrested at 2:30 a.m. and taken to Seton Highland Lakes Hospital for minor injuries.

Several state and area agencies stepped in to help Burnet police, including the Burnet County Sheriff’s Department, Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, U.S. Marshall Service, and Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division, along with the DPS SWAT team and the Texas Rangers, Austin Police Department helicopter and also Burnet Fire/EMS. Ultimately, police say they would not have found Morrisett without the help of the anonymous tipster, which officials say “just shows how great this community works together to stay safe.”

“This all came together, because all of the listed departments worked together as a team and got the job done,” said Burnet Police Chief Paul Nelson. “Our goal was to keep the public safe, and take the suspect into custody without anyone getting injured.”

Morrisett pleaded guilty to engaging in unlawful monetary transactions after prosecutors say he defrauded investors in Texas and Oklahoma of nearly $7 million. Hector Gomez with the U.S. Marshal Service says Morrisett organized a Ponzi scheme that netted him millions. He served one year of a nine-year sentence for 182 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.

The FCI Bastrop houses 1,314 inmates; 1,125 within the prison and 189 at the minimum security satellite camp.

 

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