Police capture federal prison escapee in Burnet

FROM STAFF REPORTS

BURNET — An escapee from a Bastrop minimum security federal prison is back in custody after Burnet police located the man in a residence in the 1600 block of West Buchanan Drive (Texas 29) about 11 p.m. Dec. 15.

Several agencies assisted in a standoff, but police were able to take Jimmy Morrisett into custody about 2:30 a.m. Dec. 16 after several hours of negotiations. He was unarmed, officials say.

Morrisett escaped about 10:30 p.m. Dec. 14 from the prison where he had served one year of a nine-year sentence for engaging in unlawful monetary transactions. In March 2013, Morrisett pleaded guilty to what federal prosecutors described as a $6.8 million Ponzi scheme.

The illegal activities took place from November 2004 to March 2008, when the man operated Red Earth Resources Inc. and Alpine Petroleum LLC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Authorities described Morrisett’s activities as defrauding millions of dollars from countless investors in Texas and Oklahoma, with many losing their life savings.

Prior to his plea, Morrisett was living in Burnet. Authorities said he still has relatives in the Burnet area.

In September 2013, a federal judge sentenced Morrisett to nine years in federal prison.

On Dec. 15, Burnet police, acting on an anonymous tip, located Morrisett in the attic of a vacant house on West Buchanan Drive. Several agencies, including the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office, the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol and SWAT Team, the Texas Rangers and the Austin Police Department’s helicopter assisted with the fugitive’s capture. The Burnet Fire and EMS Department also responded to the residence.

“This all came together because all the listed departments worked together as a team and got the job done,” said Burnet Police Chief Paul Nelson. “Our goal was to keep the public safe and take the suspect into custody without anyone getting injured, and we did just that.”

Nelson added that it was a citizen calling in a tip that helped capture the fugitive, highlighting the importance of the community and police working together.

editor@thepicayune.com

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