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Two state prisoners from the Syracuse area who fled from a minimum-security state prison two months ago -- only to end up in a maximum-security prison one day later -- were indicted Wednesday by an Erie County grand jury on felony escape charges.

Richard Bell of Oswego, and Christopher Earl Tanner of South Oiselec, both 20, pleaded innocent before Erie County Judge Joseph P. McCarthy. They were charged with first-degree escape for allegedly walking away from a work-release program March 27 at the state's Buffalo Correctional Facility in Alden.

Erie County District Attorney Kevin M. Dillon said the Alden jail is a minimum-security, work-release and residential treatment facility on the grounds of the state's maximum-security Wende Correctional Facility in Alden.

They face prison disciplinary proceedings in addition to additional prison terms of two to seven years if convicted on the felony escape charges, Dillon said.

Bell was imprisoned for burglary, and Tanner is a convicted robber, Dillon said.

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