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North Carolina inmate caught after blaming prison escape on COVID-19

The Raleigh-based federal prosecutor’s office said Tuesday that Richard R. Cephas turned himself in at a federal courthouse in Delaware.

BUTNER, N.C. — Authorities say a convicted drug trafficker who said he escaped from a federal prison in North Carolina because he feared the coronavirus has surrendered after 18 days on the run. 

The Raleigh-based federal prosecutor’s office said Tuesday that Richard R. Cephas turned himself in at a federal courthouse in Delaware.

He escaped in early April from a prison complex in Butner where dozens of prisoners have COVID-19. 

Prosecutors say he'll be transferred back to North Carolina to face a prison escape charge. 

Prosecutors say Cephas was about two years from release when he escaped.

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