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Published January 04, 2012, 06:37 PM

Megna headed back to Washington after changing plea

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - The sex offender who escaped from a prisoner van and led authorities on a massive manhunt will soon be on his way out of North Dakota.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

The sex offender who escaped from a prisoner van and led authorities on a massive manhunt will soon be on his way out of North Dakota. 30 year-old Joseph Megna changed his plea to guilty today. After serving time in the Barnes County jail, his case here is over. He now faces child molestation charges in the state of Washington.

Joseph Megna arrived in court today, apologetic to the people of Barnes County for the manpower and cost of a 22 hour search that had law enforcement and farmers on combines looking for him. This comes after he escaped from a prisoner van that had stopped at a rest area near Valley City. In court today Megna had nothing good to say about the transport company he says failed to feed him.

Joseph Megna – Escaped Prisoner Van: “I was treated like an animal. And it wasn't right the way they treated me. I did not mean to cause all the problems, it was stupid and wrong.”

Meanwhile the 9 law enforcement agencies are trying to recoup their costs and no check is yet in the mail.

Don Fiebiger – Barnes County Chief Deputy: “It has been turned over to a claims company in Texas. We have been working with them their hold up is getting info from the transport company.”

One thing we do know, when Megna heads back to the state of Washington to face molestation charges, the transport company he ran from in October, won't be picking him up in Valley City.

Barnes and Cass Sheriff's Departments along with the Border Patrol, State Patrol and 5 other agencies are hoping to collect close to $100,000 in search costs.

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