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PCI, 1114 Brandt Drive, Tallahassee FL 32308

Tower City, North Dakota
October 7, 2011 AP
A manhunt for a convicted sex offender who was flushed from a North Dakota cornfield with the help of farmers in combines cost law enforcement about $55,000, and local authorities said Friday that the transport company moving the inmate should pay the bill. California-based Extradition Transport of America was moving Joseph Megna from Florida to Washington state. Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney said the company, which is bonded and insured for such incidents, is cooperating and should pick up the tab. "Their mishandling of this situation cost the taxpayers of all these entities a lot of money," Laney said. Laney said the company could face sanctions under a federal law, sponsored by former North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, that was prompted by the escape of a man who murdered a Fargo girl in 1993. Kyle Bell, convicted of killing 11-year-old Jeanna North, fled in 1999 from a private prison transport bus. Extradition Transport of America declined comment. Megna, 29, escaped during a rest stop Tuesday night near Tower City. Authorities said he was in plain clothes and wasn't handcuffed. He surrendered Wednesday afternoon after farmers in a half-dozen combines - each with SWAT team members as escorts - harvested about 100 acres of corn. "This is unique in the sense that, God bless North Dakota, we bring everybody together to solve the problem and we put guys up on combines," Laney said. Megna was surprised by the attention he received. "Am I famous for running into a cornfield?" he asked a group of reporters through an open window in the back seat of a police sport utility vehicle. Costs include officer overtime, fuel and mileage for ground vehicles, a helicopter and an airplane. The farmers who volunteered their time and equipment will be compensated for fuel, mileage and wear and tear on the combines, Laney said.

October 5, 2011 INFORUM
A high-risk sex offender who escaped a prisoner transport van and sought refuge in a cornfield near here was nabbed by law enforcement about 2:30 p.m. today. Joseph Megna, 29, said he's a vegetarian and the "transport lady" was serving him nothing but bread and cheese. "I was starving and that's why I escaped and fled out into the cornfield," he said after being captured. "I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody.” Authorities tapped the help of local farmers in an attempt to end the large-scale manhunt that began more than 20 hours ago after Mgna, a convicted high-risk sex offender from Washington state, fled a transport van near here Tuesday.