A federal inmate received an additional year and three months in prison as punishment for escaping from the U.S. Penitentiary's minimum-security camp in Atlanta, Georgia to celebrate his birthday, according to a news release.
Fernando A. Settles, 36, of Augusta, Georgia, escaped from the prison at around 3:20 a.m. on May 8, 2017. He was arrested shortly after in woods outside of the outer prison fence with a cell phone and two empty duffel bags in his possession.
Settles was charged with escaping from federal custody on May 12 and will serve the extra time in addition to his 20-year sentence after being convicted of conspiratorial and substantive drug trafficking offenses in August 2009.
"Escapes from prison pose significant safety risks to the public," U. S. Attorney John A. Horn said in the release. "Settles escaped from Atlanta's prison camp to celebrate his birthday. He decided that instant gratification was more important than serving his time and being released at the end of his sentence. Now he will have an extra year to reflect on that choice."
The U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia is a medium-security federal prison for male inmates operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The prison also has a detention center for pre-trial inmates and a satellite prison camp for minimum-security male inmates.
The FBI and the Atlanta Police Department have been engaged in an investigation to combat instances where USP Atlanta inmates temporarily escape from the prison camp to obtain contraband to smuggle back into the prison or to visit nearby restaurants, hotels and residences, according to the release.