Former ND corrections officer accused of helping prisoner escape


A Devils Lake, North Dakota, woman is wanted after police say she helped a prisoner escape from from federal jail earlier this month, and officials believe the two are on the run together.

Rachel Chepulis, 26, a former correctional officer at Lake Region Law Enforcement Center in Devils Lake, has been charged with instigating or assisting an escape, concealing person from arrest and conspiracy to commit escape, Valley News Live reports.

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The U.S. Marshals Service's High Plains Fugitive Task Force believes Chepulis is with Wesley E. Brown III, who escaped from the facility on March 13 while awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and escape, the Grand Forks Herald reports.

This was the second time Brown escaped from custody, WDAZ reported. In June 2013, he escaped from the Heart of America Correctional Center in Rugby, North Dakota. He was captured by U.S. Marshals a few hours later.

Chepulis and Brown were last known to be driving a white 2015 Toyota Rav4 with North Dakota license plate KMN-172, the Grand Forks Herald says.

Brown is a 6-foot, 1-inch tall white male who weighs 250 pounds. He has brown hair, brown eyes and numerous tattoos on his arm, a tattoo on his neck that reads "Momma Tried," and a teardrop tattoo near his right eye, Valley News Live says. Chepulis is a 5-foot, 9-inch tall white female who weighs about 200 pounds. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, along with a black widow spider tattoo on her neck.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the U.S. Marshals Service or their local law enforcement agency.

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