George A. Nelson, 38, formerly of Hardy, allegedly walked off the grounds of the academy East Camden, Ark., and stole a truck that had previously been seized by the drug task force, Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman Dina Tyler said.
Nelson was a trustee level inmate and had been working at the academy, which is not an overly secure facility, Tyler said. Fifteen inmates stay at the facility for work purposes, she said.
Tyler said Nelson would have been eligible for parole in 2008. "That's obviously not the case anymore," she said, adding Nelson will be moved to a more secure facility when he is captured.
"We feel he is still in Arkansas," Tyler said.
Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger said the Department of Correction has alerted local authorities that Nelson may come to the Fulton County area.
Nelson is a 6-foot tall white male who weighs 205 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He has a tattoo of a unicorn on his upper left chest and a tattoo of a little man on his upper left arm, according to authorities.
No description of the vehicle was available.
Nelson had been serving 10 years on numerous drug convictions from 2002.
Nelson's arrest in Fulton County came about after a van he owned was found to contain components for manufacturing methamphetamine, finished methamphetamine and paraphernalia.
Nelson was convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to use, a class C felony; two counts possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, a class C felony; manufacture of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, a class Y felony; possession of paraphernalia, a class C felony; and criminal attempt to manufacture a controlled substance, methamphetamine, a class A felony.
Anyone who has seen Nelson is asked to call the Fulton County Sheriff's Office at 870-895-2601.