Camp Verde jail escapee captured in Las Vegas

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Wade Cole Dickinson By Jennifer Thomas Wade Cole Dickinson By Jennifer Thomas
Wade Cole Dickinson By Christina O'Haver Wade Cole Dickinson By Christina O'Haver
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

CAMP VERDE, Ariz. -- A man who escaped from a central Arizona jail in July was captured Monday night in Las Vegas, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.
YCSO Chief Deputy John Russell said they received many tips from the public since Wade Cole Dickinson, 29, escaped from the Camp Verde Detention Center on July 12.

After his escape, Dickinson was in the Yavapai County and Coconino County areas for about a week, according to David Gonzales, U.S. marshal for the District of Arizona. Dickinson went to Flagstaff for a day or two then authorities lost contact with him. The investigation recently led marshals to the Las Vegas area.

The U.S. Marshals task force and sheriff's detectives located Dickinson at an apartment near The Strip. Gonzales said he had lost about 30 pounds.

Gonzales said it appeared that Dickinson was "just hanging out, laying low."

The investigation remains active as authorities look for anyone who aided Dickinson following his escape.

"There are people out there that we believe helped him in different ways and we will be pursuing those people," Russell said.

Authorities said Dickinson escaped from the Camp Verde jail by hoisting himself atop a basketball hoop, grabbing on to an overhead security fence and pulling it apart.

Dickinson then fled the area on foot.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound former personal trainer had been awaiting transfer to a state prison after being sentenced to nearly 25 years for fraud, drugs and possession of a firearm.

"The guy was just a career criminal, not a violent one, but he was, in my opinion, a career criminal and that's how he lived, by scheming people and businesses his entire adult life," Gonzales said. "We knew it was going to be an interesting investigation because he knew how to work his way around the system, our systems."

An investigative report said no one was directly supervising the recreation yard when Dickinson escaped. Cmdr. Dave Rose from the Camp Verde Detention Center said that will not be the case anymore.

Rose said the jail staff has been working to identify and correct any deficiencies that contributed to the escape, including structural changes to the facility and policy changes regarding classifications.

He said all of the basketball hoops at the jail have been removed and a number of cameras have been added.

Dickinson was booked into Nevada's Clark County Detention Center on Yavapai County escape charges and a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. He is awaiting extradition.


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