NewsCrime and Courts


Montana State Prison escapee apprehended after search near Basin

basin map.png
Posted at 7:56 PM, Feb 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-25 12:29:12-05

(Updated 9:50 a.m. MST, 02/25/2023)

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office confirmed around 11:30 p.m. Friday night that escapee Brian John Jones was apprehended and the shelter-in-place order was lifted.

In a statement from the Montana Department of Corrections (DOC), Brian Gootkin, DOC Director, said the search was "an excellent collaboration among the DOC, state, and local law enforcement agencies."

“We’re grateful for the assistance we received to bring this situation to a swift and positive resolution,” Gootkin added.

The Powell County Sheriff’s Office, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the Montana Highway Patrol, and Two Bear Air Rescue assisted in the search.

Jones was returned to the Montana State Prison upon being apprehended.

(Updated 9:30 p.m. MST, 02/24/2023)

The Montana Department of Corrections (DOC) reports that Brian John Jones, 52, escaped from the Work Reentry Center at Montana State Prison on Friday afternoon.

According to a DOC press release, the prison's command post learned around 4 p.m. on Friday 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

The DOC describes Jones as a 183-pound white male, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, with brown hair and blue eyes.

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., again at 7 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.

(Updated 8:15 p.m. MST, 02/24/2023)

Deputies and Montana Highway Patrol Troopers are pursuing an escaped Montana State Prison inmate near Basin, north of Butte, Friday night.

Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Jay Nelson tells MTN News that the prisoner stole a vehicle from the prison but 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. We have not seen any warnings or advisories for residents of the Basin area due to the prisoner search. The MHP's Sgt. Nelson says he defers to the Sheriff's Office about public safety concerns.

No further details are available at this time. We will update this story with any further information we receive.