KINGMAN, AZ - A search for three escaped Arizona inmates has spanned nearly two weeks and burned countless resources as authorities continue their hunt for one escapee and an accomplice still on the loose.
Arizona U.S. Marshal David Gonzales says Tracy Province was arrested Monday with a handgun in northwest Wyoming, about 60 miles outside of Yellowstone National Park.
The other inmate, John McCluskey, as well as suspected accomplice Casslyn Welch, are still at large. It is believed the couple is in Montana and possibly headed to North Dakota.
Gonzales says the couple "consider themselves as Bonnie and Clyde."
"They joke about it," said Gonzales of the Bonnie and Clyde persona McCluskey and Welch have taken on. "They think this is some sort of movie they are living in, some sort of joke but it's not."
According to the U.S. Marshals Service, information over the weekend indicated that the three might have been hiding in portions of Yellowstone National Park that span Montana and Wyoming.
Province was captured in Meeteetse, WY.
The arrest reportedly came after a local citizen talked with Province over the weekend, went home and saw news reports. After that a dozen U.S. Marshals set up surveillance in the area.
Province attended Sunday services at the Meeteetse Community Church and received $40 from the pastor for cutting the church's lawn.
"I tend to do that with many people, people who are down on their luck," said the pastor who asked to not be identified. "I try to help out, that's the job of the church."
The pastor said people in Meeteetse assumed Province was a tourist passing through town.
"We have a lot of people who come through the town," said the pastor. "It's not strange we would see a new face in our church home. We welcomed him like we would anyone else."
Province was seen walking in the area and was arrested without incident early Monday. He initially denied he was Province, but then admitted who he was and said he was relieved that the manhunt was over, according to officials.
Countless resources and man-hours used in the tireless search are adding up quickly.
For the time being, taxpayers will foot the bill for the cross-country search for the escapees, but that will change.
According to Arizona Revised Statute 41-1830.31 , "All private prisons shall pay a penalty for the capture costs of an escapee in the amount of ten-thousand dollars per escapee or the actual capture costs per escapee, whichever is more."
It's called the "Private prison escapee fund" which also covers any liabilities the state man incur.
Meantime, U.S. Marshals continue their hunt for McCluskey, who is no longer in Yellowstone National Park and is believed to be driving a gray Nissan Sentra.
"Rest assured, we're going to be on McCluskey like a cheap suit," said Gonzales.
Investigators have told ABC15 that McCluskey and Welch may attempt to cross the Canadian border.
Welch, investigators say, has visited Canada several times before and is familiar with the country.
"I don't think this is going to end well for law enforcement and for them," said Gonzales. "When they consider themselves a modern day Bonnie and Clyde, it doesn't bode well."
According to U.S. Marshals in Phoenix, McCluskey and Welch were spotted Saturday near Gardiner, Montana, just north of the Wyoming border.
"We believe Welch, the accomplice, has associates and connections in Montana and we believe McCluskey has connections there as well," said Fidencio Rivera with the U.S. Marshals Service.
"Usually, when people are running, they go places they are comfortable, especially an area they could hide easily," added Rivera.
"From the start, we believed these individuals would be staying at campgrounds and truck stops and other places like that. This keeps to that pattern," Henman said. He added authorities believe the three might be sticking to back roads and smaller state highways.
Investigators say Province and McCluskey may also have ties to a white supremacist group. Several white supremacist groups have attempted to take root in areas of Montana and Wyoming.
The manhunt for the three intensified Saturday after forensic evidence linked at least one of the inmates to the killings of an Oklahoma couple who was traveling through eastern New Mexico earlier this week.
The badly burned skeletal remains of Linda and Gary Haas -- both 61 and from Tecumseh, Okla. -- were found in a charred camper Wednesday morning on a remote ranch in Santa Rosa. The couple's pickup truck was found that afternoon 100 miles west in Albuquerque.
Henman and New Mexico State Police spokesman Peter Olson both called the search an urgent situation given the double-homicide in New Mexico.
"They are very dangerous individuals, very desperate individuals, and the longer they're out there, the more desperate they become and the more dangerous they become," Henman said Sunday.
Province, McCluskey and Daniel Renwick escaped from the medium-security Arizona State Prison near Kingman on July 30 after