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Dias charged with breaking into jail

Dias charged with breaking into jail

By R.L. Thompson

Occasionally the media reports on someone breaking out of jail or a prison. It seems to be a place that people do not want to stay. However, on August 2, felony charges were filed in District Court sitting in and for Okfuskee County against Michael Joseph Dias for unauthorized entry into jail/prison.

The charges stem from an incident occurring on June 26. The affidavit in this case was filed by Craig Hicks, who was employed as an agent in charge with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Office of Inspector, General, and assigned to the Criminal Interdiction Division. Agent Hicks has been employed by the Oklahoma Department Of Corrections since January 2, 2020. 

According to the affidavit, Agent Hicks received information from Lieutenant Brent McGinnis of John Lilley Correctional Center (JLCC) concerning a subject being observed on the facility grounds in the early morning hours of June, 26, 2023. Lt. McGinnis also contacted the Okfuskee County Sheriff’s office.  Lt. McGinnis said the subject was identified as Michael Dias who was a former inmate of the John Lilley Correctional Center. He was discharged from the Department of Corrections on April 21, 2023. 

Agent Hicks spoke with Okfuskee County Sheriff Deputy Russ Nester who responded to the incident that occurred on N3690 Road located east of the JLCC farm area. This is also known as Mennonite Road. The affidavit states that once Deputy Nester was on the scene, he made contact with the subject who identified himself as Michael Dias. Dias was not cooperative in the investigation. The affidavit states that when Deputy Nester’s interview with Dias was completed, Dias was released.

Agent Hicks then met with Lt. McGinnis and reviewed several incident reports. The reports outlined a series of events starting with Correctional Officer Jordan Wyatt reporting finding a parked unoccupied Chrysler 300 bearing Oklahoma tag MAQ530 on Mennonite Road and reports it to Central Control around 3:46 a.m. on June 26.

On the same date Correctional Officer Tevin Dixon responds to Mennonite Road and observes a African American male wearing black clothes exiting the Facility property by jumping the fence onto Mennonite Road. Dixon detained the subject (later identified as Micheal Dias) and called for Central Control to contact law enforcement. Dixon reported that DIAS advised “He was just looking at the scenery”.

Also on June 26, at approximately 6:00 a.m. Correctional Officer Ronald Lee found 17 packages wrapped in black tape containing contraband (drugs, tobacco and cell phones) on the farm area of the facility.

Agent Hicks states in the affidavit that he drove the “Mennonite Road” and observed five signs posted on the Facility fence which state: “STATE PROPERTY NO TRESPASSING.”

Agent Hicks conducted a criminal history check on Micheal Joseph Dias which revealed the following felony convictions: CF-2019-01883 for burglary-second degree, CF-2019-02104 for carry a firearm AFFC, CF-2018-04626 for indecent exposure, CF- 2014-06249 for burglary-first degree, CF-2009-00576 for burglary-second degree and CF- 2009-00438 for burglary-second degree.

If convicted of the felony count of authorized entry into jail/prison, the crime is punishable by three years to life imprisonment, or by the imposition of a fine not less than $500 or more than $1,000 or by both fine and imprisonment.

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