LINCOLN COUNTY, Nev. — An inmate managed to walk away from the Pioche Conservation Camp in Nevada New Year’s Day, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections.
Inmate Sony Perez, 34, was discovered missing from the camp around 5 p.m. Friday, NDOC public information officer Brook Keast said.
The camp is located about 90 miles west of Cedar City.
Perez is described as a Hispanic male with dark hair and brown eyes, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs approximately 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing blue camp-issued clothing and is believed by authorities to be heading south on U.S. Route 93.
“Officers from Nevada Department of Corrections and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office are currently searching for the inmate,” Keast said.
Perez was committed to the camp in 2014 from Clark County and is serving 24 to 60 months for grand larceny of a motor vehicle.
The camp is a minimum security facility, Keast said, adding that inmates who qualify for the camp have to be non-violent offenders.
Perez is not the first inmate who has escaped the camp recently.
In early December, law enforcement agencies were alerted to the escape of 37-year-old Jeremy Bryson from the camp. However, he was apprehended a few weeks later by law enforcement officers in Clark County, Nevada, Keast said.
According to the NDOC’s website, the Pioche Conservation Camp was establish in 1980 and houses between 196 to 238 male inmates as needed.
“It’s a place for inmates when they are at the end of their sentence,” Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee previously said. “Many of them have less than a year left (to serve) which is why it’s crazy that he ran.”
While serving their time in the camp, inmates render community service as well as learn skills related to wilderness firefighting. They also respond to natural disasters and other incidents.
In 2003, crews from the camp responded to flooding in Caliente, Nevada, and also participated in recovery efforts involving the Colombia space shuttle disaster that same year. Camp crews were also sent to California twice in 2008 to aid with wildfires there.
“These guys fight fires, cut firewood for the elderly and shovel snow,” he said. “During the summer they will fight these fires in California and Oregon where at night they are on lockdown but during the day they may only have one supervisor — so it’s not easy to qualify to get in there and the inmates are considered minimal risk.”
Anyone who may have seen Perez is asked to call 911 or contact local authorities.
St. George News reporter Tracie Sullivan contributed to this report.
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