Alleged counterfeiter captured after escape in Garrard

September 08, 2004|EMILY BURTON

LANCASTER - A Lancaster man arrested by Secret Service last week on 75 counts of counterfeiting has been captured after escaping from custody in Garrard County Tuesday morning.

Benji A. Stout, 24, of Zane's Trace, slipped out of a shackle while being transported to court by the Garrard County Jailer. State police could not say how. He had previously been identified as an escape risk when arrested Aug. 27, after Secret Service agents discovered 75 $100 bills with identical serial numbers at his residence.

At that time, he had slipped from handcuffs while officers searched his residence but was apprehended quickly thereafter.

According to Sheriff Ron Waldrip, Stout left his shoes and prison jumpsuit behind in the recent escape. The last time he was seen, said Waldrip, Stout was barefoot and in black shorts.

State police were contacted to help in the search, which included canine units, the State Police Special Response Team, air support, the Garrard County Sheriff's Office, Lancaster Police Department and U.S. Secret Service.


Waldrip said Wednesday morning that he believed Stout had already fled the area.

"I don't think he knew much about this area" and wasn't going to wait around for someone to come pick him up, said Waldrip.

State police Sgt. Joey Barnes said they were hopeful that, with no identification and cash, Stout would show up somewhere he didn't belong and be spotted by police or citizens. At the moment, though, "we don't have any clear-cut leads" as to where he is headed, said Barnes.

Stout was captured near press time today after apparently breaking into a Lancaster home.

Stout had been out on bond in Lexington for counterfeiting charges. Lexington Police arrested Stout in July after an informant said he was selling fake currency at the Reynolds Road White Castle.

Stout had allegedly told the informant he had $80,000 in the phony money and sold $1,000 in fake currency for $200 of genuine cash.

Stout was arrested for a second time in Lancaster after another tipster told police Stout had a stack of counterfeit cash hidden under his couch there. The serial numbers on the second set of bills seized were identical to those from his Lexington arrest.

Stout was subsequently charged in Garrard County with 75 counts of possession of a forged instrument, third-degree assault and first-degree escape. He had allegedly shoved a sheriff's deputy during his first escape attempt.

Stout's description has been entered into the national crime network database and circulated among the law enforcement community said Barnes.

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