NewsCrime and Courts


Escaped prisoner at large; abandoned a stolen truck in Basin area

Basin Montana
Posted at 8:31 PM, Feb 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-25 02:56:54-05

(UPDATE, 11:35pm) The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says that Jones has been taken into custody, and the shelter-in-place order has been lifted. No other details have been released.

(UPDATE, 10:35pm) The Montana Department of Corrections says that Brian John Jones, 52, escaped from the Work Reentry Center at Montana State Prison on Friday, February 24, 2023.

The agency said the prison's command post learned at around 4 p.m. that a light blue Ford F-250 used by inmates on the prison ranch was spotted on the interstate heading toward Butte. Staff conducted an emergency count after locking down the prison, which showed all inmates present except for Jones.

Brian John Jones
Brian John Jones

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said on social media that a shelter-in-place order for residents near Basin was issued around 6 p.m. and remains in place for those who received the notice.

The Sheriff's Office said search efforts will continue into the night; anyone who sees Jones should not approach him and call 911 immediately.

Jones is about 183 pound, 5 feet 9 inches tall, with brown hair and blue eyes.

He is under the supervision of the DOC for charges of burglary, criminal endangerment, forgery, and theft. Jones is classified at the lowest security level at MSP, living at the Work Reentry Center and working on the prison’s Cowboy Crew.

(1st REPORT, 8:31 pm) Sheriff's deputies and Montana Highway Patrol troopers are trying to find an escaped Montana State Prison inmate near Basin in Jefferson County.

Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Jay Nelson tells MTN News that the prisoner stole a vehicle from the prison and abandoned it near Basin.

Nelson says several troopers are assisting Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies in searching for the prisoner. He describes the scene where the vehicle was found to be the site of an active investigation. He also told us that law enforcement officers are tracking the suspect.

So far MTN News has not been able to reach the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office about the search. At this point, we have not seen any warnings or advisories for residents of the Basin area due to the prisoner search.

Sgt. Nelson says he defers to the Sheriff's Office about public safety concerns. No other details have been released at this point. We will update you if we get more information.