Woman sentenced for helping inmate escape

Times Leader
Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE — A woman from Columbia County who helped her boyfriend, Robert Vargo, flee the area after he escaped from a work detail while an inmate at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility was ordered to pay more than $1,000 to cover the cost of her extradition.

Amanda Saxer, 28, last known address as Catawissa, on Friday pled guilty to hindering apprehension before Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas, who immediately sentenced her to six-to-23 months in the county correctional facility.

Lupas also ordered Saxer to pay the district attorney’s office $1,407 to replenish the cost to extradite her from South Carolina in July.

Saxer was accused by county detectives of aiding the escape of Vargo, 25, of Berwick, who walked away from a work detail while he was an inmate at the county correctional facility on July 17.

Detectives in court records say Vargo planned his escape, calling it “2.0,” making jailhouse phone calls to Saxer in the days leading up to his flight.

Vargo and Saxer were apprehended nearly 700 miles away by the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force in the Barefoot Landing area near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on July 20.

Vargo pled guilty to escape Oct. 14 and is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 27.

In an unrelated case, Vargo was indicted by a federal grand jury in October on allegations he threatened President Joseph Biden, U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani and Congressman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who is chairman of the Select Committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Federal prosecutors alleged Vargo made the threats in a letter that was mailed while he was jailed at the county correctional facility.

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