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4 inmates escaped from a minimum security prison in Virginia

A minimum-security federal prison in Hopewell, Va., discovered that four inmates were missing early Saturday morning.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons said the inmates, Corey Branch, 41, Tavares Lajuane Graham, 44, Lamonte Rashawn Willis, 30, and Kareem Allen Shaw, 46, were found to be missing from the Federal Correctional Complex Petersburg's satellite camp at approximately 1:45 a.m.

The U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies were notified of the incident. An internal investigation has been launched, according to the Bureau of Prisons news release.

The bureau didn't immediately respond to questions from NPR about how the four men escaped and if they did so together.

Branch was serving 160 months for possession of fentanyl with the intent to distribute as well as felony possession of a firearm.

Graham was serving 120 months for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more and 28 grams or more of cocaine base. He was also sentenced for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to the bureau.

Willis was serving a 216-month sentence for possessing and concealing a stolen firearm, as well as possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Shaw was sentenced to 194 months for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a measurable quantity of heroin.

The U.S. Marshals is asking anyone with information to contact the agency at (804) 545-8501.

The low-level prison houses a total of 675 inmates, including 185 from the satellite camp, according to the Bureau of Prisons website.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.