WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. – UPDATE:
Two inmates who escaped from the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority in Abingdon on Thursday, Jan. 26, have been arrested in Tennessee, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
51-year-old Johnny Brown, of Rogersville, Tennessee, and 31-year-old Albert Ricketson, of Abingdon, Virginia, broke free from the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority at about 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, as we reported.
On Friday, Jan. 27, around 11 a.m., authorities said a gold-colored Cadillac SUV, believed to be stolen by the pair, was located on Route 66 in Bulls Gap, Tennessee.
We’re told that Brown and Ricketson were hiding out upstairs of a barn on Cupp Hollow Road in Rogersville, Tennessee – about four miles from the stolen vehicle’s location.
When authorities got to the scene, both people were taken into custody without incident, the sheriff’s office said.
Brown, who is a federal inmate, is being held in the Washington County Tennessee Jail without bond, according to authorities. Ricketson, who authorities say is a convicted murderer, is being held in the Hawkins County Tennessee Jail without bond.
Several law enforcement agencies worked together to bring Brown and Ricketson into custody, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Agencies involved included:
- U.S. Marshal Service
- U.S. Forestry
- Virginia State Police
- Smyth County Sheriff’s Office
- Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries
- Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s Office
- Hawkins County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office
- Johnson City Police Department
- Morristown Police Department
- Tennessee Bureau of Investigation
- Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office
- Bristol Virginia Police Department
- Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department
The U.S. Marshall Service and Virginia State Police have joined the search for two inmates who escaped from an Abingdon jail Thursday afternoon, one of which is a convicted murderer.
Authorities say 51-year-old Johnny Shane Brown, of Rogersville, Tennessee, and 31-year-old Albert Lee Ricketson, of Abingdon, Virginia, broke free from the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority at about 2:45 p.m.
Officials provided an update Friday morning (Jan. 27) at about 11 a.m., saying a gold-colored Cadillac SUV, believed to be stolen by the pair, was located in Hawkins County, Tennessee on Route 66 in Bulls Gap, Tennessee.
However, the two men still have not been located.
Authorities could not provide information about the year, make or model of the vehicle Brown and Ricketson may now be traveling in.
We’re told Ricketson, a federal inmate and double-homicide convicted murderer, weighs 212 pounds and is 5 feet, 8 inches tall.
Brown, who is about 182 pounds and is 5 feet, 11 inches, previously escaped from a Sullivan County, Tennessee Jail with two others in February of 2022. Two of the inmates died in a chase in North Carolina.
The sheriff’s office says the two men should be considered armed and dangerous.
“The regional jail let the inmates out into the rec yard. There were nine inmates that were there, and one of those inmates ended up hitting the button and two of those escaped, which was Ricketson and Brown,” said Sheriff Blake Andis, with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
He continued, saying, ”These are dangerous individuals based on their criminal histories and past.”
According to the sheriff’s office, the pair was last seen wearing red jumpsuits and may be wearing white T-shirts.
It is unclear where they are headed.
Anyone who sees either men or the vehicle is advised to call 911 immediately.
A $5,000 reward each, meaning $10,000 combined, is being offered for information leading to the apprehension of the two escapees.