Escaped Inmate Arrested in Coachella

Escaped Inmate Arrested in Coachella

News Staff

An inmate firefighter who escaped from a minimum- security facility in Northern California and was on the lam for nearly a week was arrested during a traffic stop in Coachella Saturday.

The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said Nicolas Dunning, 32, who fled the Konocti Conservation Camp in Lake County, was located “based on investigative leads” and was arrested without incident by members of the Riverside County Gang Impact Team, which includes law enforcement personnel from various local, state and federal agencies.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials discovered Dunning was missing from the camp during an inmate count Monday morning after an extensive search of camp buildings and grounds, prison officials said.

The Konocti Conservation Camp houses about 95 minimum-security inmates who help fight wildfires.

Authorities had suspected that Dunning was headed for the Coachella Valley.

He was serving a five-year sentence for a conviction in Imperial County for assault with a deadly weapon, prison officials said.