Inmate Jody Thompson had help escaping from Northern Nevada Correctional Center last week, state prisons director Jackie Crawford said Saturday.
Ana Kastner, 42, a dental assistant at NNCC's medical center, was arrested early Saturday for allegedly helping with the escape plot - including bringing Thompson a cell phone. Crawford described Kastner as "apparently his girlfriend."
In addition, prison authorities and Reno police arrested Tanner Kendrick, 27, a recent parolee, and Michael Scott Woolf, 43, a former inmate who served sentences for drug dealing and attempted home invasion.
Crawford said all three were taken to Washoe County Jail on charges of aiding and abetting the escape. Kendrick, a former teacher who served a prison sentence for sexual conduct with a student, was also charged with violating terms of his parole.
In addition, Crawford said Kastner's roommate Carolyn Thomas is being investigated as a possible suspect in the case. She said Thomas, also a dental technician, was already on administrative leave being investigated for allegedly smuggling contraband into the prison.
"This was not something I would call impromptu," Crawford said. "It was well planned."
She said both women will be fired from their jobs immediately.
Thompson escaped Thursday morning by sneaking into the back of a Prison Industries truck transporting furniture from NNCC's shop to make a delivery in Fallon before heading on to Lovelock. Thompson worked in the furniture shop.
"I said when they go out, do we not check the trucks? I mean, do I have to go and check the trucks myself? My God," said Crawford.
She said she intends to ask the Division of Investigations to take a hard look at NNCC in the wake of the escape plot.
Thompson, who was serving 12 counts for robbery in Nye County plus three grand larceny and three burglary counts, got out of the truck in the Fallon area. He was seen by a convenience store clerk eating egg rolls from a hot dog machine.
She recognized his picture and told investigators he had a bandage wrapped around one arm. Authorities say he apparently used a hammer to chop a hole in the floor of the truck and may have cut his arm reaching through to release the rear doors.
Prison officials said they believe Thompson has been in contact with his mother in Pahrump. They said he has friends and contacts in Las Vegas as well as Pahrump, where most of his crimes were committed.
Crawford credited local law enforcement officials from Reno, Fallon, Pahrump and Las Vegas for their assistance in tracking Thompson.
"We have not been able to catch this escapee, but we will. We're on his trail and he may run but he can't hide," she said.
Thompson is described as 5-feet 11-inches and 135 pounds, with blond hair and hazel eyes. He has tattoos of an eagle on his back a bird on his right leg and "CJ" on his shoulder.
Crawford said he should be considered dangerous and anyone who sees him should call authorities.
n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.