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Bjerknes to plead guilty to state and federal charges

Redby escapee pleads guilty, fled while on sentence to serve crew

BEMIDJI -- A Redby man plead guilty Monday in Beltrami County Court to an escape from custody charge. He snuck away from law enforcement while working a sentence to serve shift in June.

Robert Charles Anderson, 43, is charged with one count of felony escape from custody, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Anderson was assigned to the sentence to serve work release crew, a criminal complaint stated. While working at the Bemidji Food Shelf he requested a bathroom break, which was approved by the crew supervisor. When Anderson didn’t return, the supervisor discovered he had used the opportunity to escape by running out of the building and hiding, court documents said.

Beltrami County Jail Administration reported Anderson’s escape to District Court and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Anderson was booked back into the Beltrami County Jail on Aug. 6.

Anderson was originally booked into the Beltrami County Jail on drug sale charges. In May 2013, Anderson sold three grams of methamphetamine to a confidential reliable informant who was working with the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force, according to court documents. Subsequently, Anderson was charged with felony third-degree drug sale. Court documents state Anderson failed to make court appearances. A warrant was issued for his arrest in April and he returned to jail May 18 where he remained until his escape.

Anderson plead guilty to the drug sale charge June 9 and escaped from custody the next day. The maximum penalty for third-degree sale of a controlled substance is imprisonment for not more than 20 years and a fine of not more than $250,000, or both.

Anderson is being held in the Beltrami County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on both charges on Sept. 22.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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