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State offers $100,000 reward for information leading to capture of prison escapees

Courtesy of NYS Police Twitter

New York State is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the capture of two convicted murderers who escaped from a maximum security prison over the weekend.

Officers from the New York State Police, U.S. Marshals, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies are working around the clock to apprehend Richard Matt and David Sweat.  State Police Troop B Commander Major Charles Guess says the agencies are working together to perform a thorough ground search.

"At this point, in excess of 150 leads have been developed since the escape was reported," said Guess during a news conference Sunday. "The State Police, DOCS (Department of Correctional Services) and federal investigative personnel, as well as surrounding agencies, are following up on each lead."

Authorities say the pair used power tools, in what's described as an elaborate plot, cutting through steel and break, to break out of the Clinton Correctional Facility near the Canadian border.

Anthony Annucci is Acting Commissioner of the State Department of Corrections. Annucci says they are looking closely at contractors to determine how the prisoners may have obtained the tools.

"We have completed our internal inventory of all of our tools, instrument by instrument, so far every one has been accounted for," said Annucci. "That seems to lead to the possibility of a contractor having left it unsecured and not accounted for, perhaps obtained by these inmates. It's speculation at this point. We will pursue every lead possible until we answer this question definitively."

Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo says authorities will not rest until the pair is back in custody.  Cuomo warns they could be anywhere.

"I don't want people to think, while I'm in Buffalo, I'm quite a distance from Dannemora and therefore there's no reason for people to be aware of in Buffalo or Syracuse or Broome County," said Cuomo. "We should be on alert all across the state."

Cuomo adds once the two are apprehended, officials will be reviewing the specifics of how they escaped.

"This is the first escape from Clinton Correctional," said Cuomo "The maximum security portion of it, a facility that opened in 1865, believe it or not, and this is the first escape and we want to make sure this is the last escape."

Matt, a Tonawanda native, was behind bars for the 1997 brutal murder of his boss. Sweat was convicted of killing a Broome County Sheriff's Deputy in 2002.

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