Federal prisoner mistakenly released in W Mich.

Mug shot of Anthony Sprague Jr.

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A federal prisoner who served time for being a felon in possession of a firearm was mistakenly released from the Newaygo County Jail Thursday.

Anthony Sprague Jr. was in the Newaygo County Jail, which holds prisoners for the feds, after being arrested in 2009 for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Back in May, Sprague was strapped with a tether and released under home confinement in Grand Rapids.

A few days later,  he cut off his tether and was considered an escapee.

The U.S. Marshal soon caught up with him, and he was taken back to the Newaygo County Jail.

On Thursday, Sprague’s sentence for the firearm related conviction ended, but he was supposed to stay in in jail while awaiting an October for cutting off his tether.

But for some reason, he was released. His mom said she was shocked when her son showed up.

Sprague told his mom “They released me. ‘And I’m like you’re kidding me how can you be released you have a court date, you’re a federal escapee all the trouble the feds went to look and find you? I just can’t believe they would release you sure it ain’t a mistake? He goes like they checked twice and said you’re released,” said Shelley Sprague, Anthony Sprague’s mom.

When he was released, Sprauge was told he had 72-hours to get to the Federal Building in Grand Rapids to be assigned a parole officer.

So that’s what he and his mom did Friday, but authorities at the federal building told them that they had no idea the Spragues were coming.

So the Spragues sat and waited.

“Finally a couple of Marshals came through the door and told him, ‘Mr. Sprague stand up and put your hands behind your back.’ That’s when I said, ‘why is he being arrested?’ He said, ‘because he is a federal escapee.’ I said, ‘but they released him.’ He said ‘well somebody made a mistake.’ I said ‘do they do this all the time?’ He said, ‘its uncommon.’ I said, ‘this is a real cruel joke,'” Shelley explained.

Marshals told 24 Hour News 8 they are trying to determine out whether they failed to notify Newaygo County that Sprague was to remain in jail, or if Newaygo County made the mistake.

“They should definitely do a better check of who they’re releasing and what their charges were. Cause it could have been a lot more dangerous than him. It could have been somebody else they released and the public would be in danger and no one would know about it,” said Shelley.

Marshals also said they are investigating out what went wrong so that it doesn’t happen again.

Marshals said the incident “could have been significant” but fortunately it “turned out to be minor.”

“I’m just wondering how many other mistakes they’ve made,” Shelley said.

Marshals told 24 Hour News 8 Sprague could be charged with escape again, even though the jail released him. However, they don’t think Sprague will be charged because he showed up at the federal building Friday.

“This last thing isn’t his fault. I mean it was their mistake, I wonder how many other mistakes they have made with more violent people that are in federal. That they released and they could be a real real danger out here,” Shelley said.

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