Prisoner who robbed Motel 6 in Morro Bay escapes in Illinois
September 4, 2015
A California inmate who robbed Motel 6 in Morro Bay escaped captivity Wednesday evening and disappeared into an Illinois cornfield while being transported across the country.
Joshua Lee Drinnon, 35, robbed a Motel 6 clerk at knife point in 2010. Drinnon was serving a 17-year prison sentence at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego.
Recently, authorities transported Drinnon to Tennessee for a court appearance in which he received a six-year sentence for aggravated robbery. Drinnon escaped while on the way back from Tennessee, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
Drinnon managed to get out of his restraints at a rest stop on Interstate 80 about five miles outside Princeton Illinois. He ran past the transporting officers and was was last seen scaling a fence and running into a cornfield.
Inmate Services Corporation, which was contracted through the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department in Tennessee, was transporting Drinnon.
The Princeton County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois is now heading the search for the fugitive. The Princeton sherif’s office is working with CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety.
Approximately 100 personnel, as well as safety dogs and air support, are trying to locate Drinnon.
Drinnon is 6 feet tall and 240 pounds. He has blue eyes and brown air.
After he robbed the Motel 6 in 2010, police stopped Drinnon’s vehicle. He got out of the vehicle and fled on foot, initially evading capture.
While police were searching for him, they described Drinnon as being 6 feet and 200 pounds. Witnesses said Drinnon appeared to be wearing a black curly wig during the robbery.
In 2012, Drinnon received a 17-year sentence for robbery, which was his second strike.
Drinnon was scheduled to be released to parole in May 2025. He then would have been transported back to Tennessee to serve the sentence for aggravated robbery.