EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 11, 2014

Inmate walks away from 'The Farm'

LAWRENCE — A Methuen man, who had just been transferred to the Correctional Alternative Center yesterday, walked away hours later from the minimum security jail off Marston Street.

Essex County Sheriff’s Department deputies and police continued to search last night for Joseph St. Laurent, 33, of 72 Pleasant St. Methuen police said he might headed for The Loop shopping center on Pleasant Valley Street.

St. Laurent — who was described as being 5-foot-7-inches tall and weighing 180 pounds with black hair, hazel eyes and a full beard — was noticed missing at about 3 p.m. during a prisoner count, according to Assistant Superintendent Maurice E. Pratt of the Sheriff’s Department.

Pratt said St. Laurent has been in Sheriff’s Department’s custody since January 6 and was being held on $1,000 bail in pretrial status after being charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license. He was due to be appear Jan. 27 in Lawrence District Court to face the charge.

“His history includes substance abuse,” Pratt said.

The center, which is commonly known as “The Farm,” is a pre-release center for prisoners being held at the Essex County Jail in Middleton after a special screening process that determines whether they are suitable for a minimum security facility and can benefit from a wide range of programs designed for reentry to society.

Anyone has any information on St. Lauren’t’s whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department’s at (978) 750-1900.

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