Tennessee fugitives caught in Broward planned to steal boat, flee the country, BSO says


Two inmates who escaped from a Tennessee prison planned to steal a boat and flee the country, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

Their plan, however, was thwarted by deputies who, with U.S. Marshals, took the fugitives into custody after a more than 10-hour search Sunday.

On Tuesday, BSO shared new details about the capture, which involved the use of K-9s and the department’s aviation and marine units. This comes the same day the men waived their right to an extradition hearing, according to Miami Herald news partner CBS4.

For now, Robert Lee Brown, 36, and Christopher Osteen, 34, are being held in Broward’s Main Jail with no bond.

Brown, who was serving an 18-year sentence for aggravated rape, and Osteen, who was serving an eight-year sentence for burglary, absconded from Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, Tennessee, Friday.

According to BSO, the men “embarked on a violent crime spree and terrorized a pair of victims following their escape.”

First, they “kidnapped, blindfolded and carjacked a Kentucky Highway Department employee,” and then kidnapped a second victim, stole his car and money and then left him tied up inside his home for 16 hours, BSO said.

“Additionally, detectives say Brown and Osteen confessed to committing multiple residential burglaries, attempting to steal firearms in anticipation of a possible shootout with law enforcement,” BSO said in a news release.

At about 10:45 a.m. Sunday, BSO deputies in the Pompano Beach district received an alert that the stolen car had been spotted. With the help of the U.S. Marshals, deputies located the car, an older model red Chevy Silverado, stolen out of Tennessee.

“Following several hours of searching by BSO’s Aviation, K-9 and Marine Patrol units, detectives with the BSO V.I.P.E.R. (Violence Intervention Proactive Enforcement Response) Unit located the escapees in a parking lot at 615 N. Ocean Blvd. in Pompano Beach,” BSO said.

The men took off, but after a brief foot chase, Brown was taken into custody. Osteen was found five hours later.

“The men and women of BSO responded to an imminent threat in our community and did so flawlessly, removing two highly dangerous fugitives from our streets and back into the hands of justice,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a news release. “Our efforts to safeguard Broward County residents is a never-ending mission.”



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