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Saatio pleads not guilty

MILTON, Fla. – John Saatio pleaded not guilty to two felony charges relating to his most recent escape in Florida Thursday.

Saatio, 35, is being held in Florida’s Santa Rosa County, where he was recaptured by police in July, a day after escaping from a private transport company that was bringing him back to Houghton County.

Saatio is facing felony charges in Florida of second-degree escape and third-degree unlawful possession of a concealed handcuff key. After Saatio’s arrest, officers found two makeshift handcuff keys in one of his socks. Saatio said he had used the locks to pick his handcuffs and belly chain, according to his arrest report.

He waived arraignment on the charges.

Saatio escaped Houghton County in June 2015 while being escorted back to the county jail after a court hearing. He was apprehended in Costa Rica in June before escaping an immigration detention center, where he was put pending an ultimately unsuccessful request for asylum. He was extradited to the U.S. and held in Texas prior to his transport.

His next hearing is Sept 21.

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