GLENBURN, Maine — A secret late-night mission by members of the Maine State Police and Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday led to the capture of two prison fugitives who escaped from Charleston Correctional Facility and had been on the lam since Sunday.
“[Police] went in under the cover of darkness and [the fugitives] were taken by surprise,” Stephen McCausland, Department of Public Safety spokesman, said Thursday of the two prison escapees. “Both had knives, not on them, but that were close to them.”
Randall Moulton, 20, of Bangor and Phillip Gardiner, 24, on Sunday “just walked out” of the minimum security Charleston prison, which has no perimeter fencing, Judy Plummer, Department of Corrections spokeswoman, has said.
The two somehow traveled the 22 miles to Lakeshore Landing, a town-owned public beach, boat landing and water recreation area on Pushaw Lake.
They were captured on the beach near the boat landing about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday after a tip led to their whereabouts, Plummer said Thursday. Police did not say what the two were doing on the beach at the time or whether they resisted arrest.
“Moulton and Gardiner could face up to five additional years in prison for escape,” Plummer said.
Moulton is serving a sentence for burglary and theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, according to Plummer. He began his sentence on June 7 and was scheduled to be released in September 2013.
Gardiner had been incarcerated for burglary, robbery and criminal threatening since November 2009, Plummer said. He was scheduled to be released in November 2014.
“It’s very likely those sentences will be increasing now,” McCausland said.
Based on his prior experience with jail and prison escapees, McCausland said, “They typically do not go back to where they escaped from.”
In an email earlier this week, Plummer thanked all the agencies that were assisting her department and also warned friends and family of Moulton and Gardiner, and others, that helping the fugitives would be a crime.
“It is a felony to assist the escapees in any way,” she said.
Whether anyone helped the two as they ran from the law is a question McCausland couldn’t answer, but the state police spokesman did say, “They were out there alone.”
Both Moulton and Gardiner are at the Penobscot County Jail, a jail official said, and are expected to have their first appearances before a judge on the escape charges Friday afternoon.
Police still are searching for a man who escaped Somerset County Jail on Monday.
Dylan Perkin, 20, of Skowhegan had less than a month left to serve when he scaled a fence at the minimum security facility and ran into the woods Monday afternoon.
Perkins is a white male with blond hair and hazel eyes. He’s 5-foot-8 and weighs 150 pounds.
BDN Web Editor William P. Davis contributed to this story.