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Alcorn convict escapes MDOC custody

Officials are alerting the public about three inmates, including one serving time on a conviction out of Alcorn County, who escaped from state correctional facilities on Friday.

Reward money is being offered for information leading to their capture.

Jonathan Blankenship, 31, also known as "Hustle," is serving a five-year sentence for aggravated assault on a police officer and conspiracy to commit a crime in Alcorn County. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall and 200 pounds, has blue eyes and blond hair, and has numerous tattoos on his face and neck.

Blankenship and another inmate, Christopher Benson High, 28, were discovered missing from the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County during the morning count at 7 a.m. on Friday. A third inmate, Benny Ray Blansett, 59, was discovered missing from Unit 30 at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman during a count around 3 a.m. on Friday.

"There is a high probability that these escapees may have already crossed into bordering states and, as a reminder to the public, these individuals are considered to be armed and dangerous," said Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher. "We're asking the public to contact law enforcement with any related information regarding these subjects, no matter how insignificant they may consider it to be."

Numerous agencies, including the FBI, are involved in the search for the men.

"We caution the public to not attempt to apprehend these subjects on their own," said Fisher.

Blansett is serving a life sentence for convictions including two counts of uttering a forgery, two jail escapes, aggravated assault on a police officer and burglary. He has convictions in Marion and Sunflower counties. High was convicted of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling in Carroll County and is serving a 12-year sentence.

Reward money offered by the FBI and Mississippi Crimestoppers totals $12,500.

To report information, contact the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation at (601) 987-1530, Mississippi Department of Corrections at (662) 745-6611 or Crimestoppers at (601) 355-tips.