Buffalo Man Who Escaped From Halfway House Following Federal Prison Term Pleads Guilty

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BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Rashaad Samuel, 30, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to escape. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Meghan A. Tokash and Laura A. Higgins, who are handling the case, stated that in May 2018, the defendant was sentenced to serve 48 months in prison for his conviction on federal drug charges. On June 5, 2020, Samuel, who had a projected release date of October 4, 2020, was furlough transferred from the Federal Correctional Center Pollock, in Pollock, Louisiana, to a community-based placement at the Volunteers of America, Residential Reentry Center (RRC) in Rochester, NY in order to complete his sentence. On September 25, 2020, the defendant signed out of the RRC to go to his work site and was scheduled to return on early the following morning. He failed to return. After numerous attempts, the RRC made contact with Samuel and instructed him to report to the RRC by 5:00 a.m. The defendant failed to return and remained in “escape status” until he was arrested in February 2021 by the United States Marshal Service.

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The plea is the result of an investigation by the United States Marshals Service, under the direction of Marshal Charles Salina.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 17, 2021, before Judge Arcara.