The U.S. Marshals Office says the hunt for an inmate who was convicted in San Luis Obispo but escaped from a transport unit while traveling back to prison from a court hearing in another state has now gone nationwide.
Joshua Lee Drinnon, 35, was convicted in 2012 for a Morro Bay armed robbery and was serving his 17-year sentence at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego when he escaped from guards during a pit stop on Interstate 80 outside of Princeton, Ill., on Sept. 2.
For about 24 hours after his escape, Illinois State Police and the Bureau County Sheriff’s Office searched the area surrounding a cornfield that Drinnon was last seen running through after he escaped his restraints and scaled a fence at a rest area off the Interstate.
On Thursday, local and state authorities in Illinois called off their search, and the U.S. Marshals Service took over the investigation, though the search initially remained focused on the northern part of the state.
On Wednesday, Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Steve Jurman said the agency’s San Diego Division took over the fugitive investigation and transitioned the effort to a nationwide manhunt. The agency created a task force that includes California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation investigators.
Jurman said Drinnon is considered armed and dangerous given his past history of violence and robbery. He said he could not release additional details as the investigation remains ongoing.
Drinnon is described as a white male standing 6-foot-1, weighing 200 pounds, bald with blue eyes, and last seen wearing a white T-shirt and red windbreaker pants.
Jurman said the U.S. Marshals Service asks that any leads or tips be called into the agency toll-free at 1-800-WANTED2.