Police searching for drug convict who escaped Ancora facility in N.J.

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Panagioti Souris was an inmate at a minimum-security prison on the Ancora property in New Jersey. (Winslow Police Department)

WINSLOW TOWNSHIP, N.J.  — Authorities say a man convicted on drug charges has escaped from the satellite campus of a southern New Jersey prison.

Department of Corrections spokesman Matt Schuman said Saturday it’s the first escape from a department-operated facility in 2015.

Schuman says authorities at the Ancora facility of Bayside State Prison noticed about 6 a.m. that Panagioti Souris was not in his bed.

Department of Corrections officials then used a canine unit to search for Souris near the facility. Schuman says local police are also involved.

Souris was serving a maximum sentence of five years on two counts of heroin charges. Schuman says Souris was a minimum-custody convict.

Schuman called escapes “extremely rare.”

The search and an investigation are continuing.

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