BIG HORN COUNTY, Mont. -- Three inmates who escaped during a riot at the Big Horn County Jail Friday night are still on the loose according to the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office.
The Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office was called to assist. Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder says the jail was being taken over by the inmates with possible hostages and injuries involved. Sheriff Linder says YCSO immediately sent two deputies who were on duty that night.
"They went down there to assist in any way they could," he says, "There were also members of our tactical response team. As we got more information, it became apparent there was possibly an escape attempt so they needed help getting control back of the jail and so I sent our tactical response team as well as members of our special emergency response team from the jail."
When the tactical response team arrived, Sheriff Linder says the inmates were in a secure area of the detention facility. Sheriff Linder says law enforcement performed cell extraction and used pepper balls to help take back control. He says they were also prepared to use gas as a last resort, but gas was not needed to secure the jail. The inmates were then taken out of the jail and placed on school buses outside.
"They were given the option to surrender at that time," Sheriff Linder continues, "I believe some of them did. And once they started giving orders -- our team started giving orders -- they did comply."
The Big Horn County Sheriff's Office says three inmates are still unaccounted for -- 25-year-old Andrew Parham, 35-year-old Anthony Castro, and 34-year-old Stephen Caplett. Both Sheriff Linder and Big Horn County Undersheriff Eric Winburn believe the men escaped with help from the outside. Two of the men -- Castro and Caplett -- have prior escape convictions. Sheriff Linder says the BIA, local law enforcement, the Montana Highway Patrol, and the Billings Police Department all helped end the riot. He also says the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office is working on a mill levy to get passed so the Big Horn County Jail can be safer and more secure.
Law enforcement is asking for the public's help in recovering the three escaped inmates. If you see anything suspicious, you are asked to call the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office of dial 9-1-1. Law enforcement says to not approach these men as they are considered dangerous.