Deputy: Escapee has left the area

An inmate who escaped from Moffat County jail last week has left the area, a sheriff's deputy said Tuesday.

Garrick Hafen, 34, was outside the jail working at the Centennial Mall when he walked away Nov. 1.

Deputies said as recently as Thursday evening that they thought Hafen, who also uses the name Jeffery Dixon, was in the area.

But Deputy Rick Holford said Sheriff's Office officials think Hafen has left the area and is headed east to see a friend.

"We are sure he is gone," Holford said.

Deputies aren't sure exactly when Hafen left the area, but they think he left after he received money, Holford said.

Hafen had help escaping and help getting money, Holford said. Deputies say they think they know who was helping Hafen, but Holford declined to give the person's name, citing an ongoing investigation.

Avoiding extradition

Based on information the office has received, Hafen may think that if he goes far enough east, Colorado won't extradite him, Holford said.

But, Holford said, no matter how far Hafen goes, he can be extradited back to Colorado for the felony escaping charge.

A long history

Hafen was booked into Moffat County Jail in August on charges of methamphetamine possession, false reporting to authorities and outstanding warrants from Mohave County, Ariz., and St. George, Utah. His warrants were for forgery and drug possession, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Hafen has been to jail in St. George 10 times since 2001, on drug and alcohol charges, a booking agent at the Purgatory Correctional Facility said Tuesday.

Hafen was last in jail in St. George in April on a drunken driving charge. He was released April 10.

Trustees rarely escape

Hafen was working as a trustee at the Friends of the Library used-book sale when he escaped.

Trustees are allowed to work outside the jail if jail officials think they aren't a flight risk.

"Obviously, they made a mistake on this guy," Holford said.

Trustees have escaped before, Holford said. Still, it's rare, officials say.

Paul Mendoza, 39, escaped from the jail in September when he was let out on a court-ordered work release. Mendoza was found a week later in Baggs, Wyo., and he was sentenced to a year in jail for escaping.

Officials with the Sheriff's Office are considering whether to allow only inmates from Colorado to work as trustees, rather than those from out-of-state, Holford said.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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