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Helicopter Breakout Suspects Held

Two suspects have been detained in connection with a daring helicopter prison break, the Vologda region branch of the Investigative Committee said in a news release.

Convicted murderer Alexei Shestakov escaped his Vologda region prison Thursday morning when a helicopter commandeered by accomplices hovered above the prison for seconds before flying away with Shestakov in tow. The passengers disembarked from the helicopter and parted ways, with the fugitive later intercepted at a police barricade while trying to reach Yaroslavl in a taxi.

Tatyana Vazhalina, 35, and Alexander Rusakov, 36, were detained Saturday on suspicion of acting as accomplices, Fontanka said. Police were led to them by a tip from a driver who had unwittingly brought them to an unspecified location in the Vologda region, it said.

Shestakov was able to organize the escape by calling from six different cell phones and promising a payment of 2 million rubles ($68,000).

He had completed half of his 24-year sentence.

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