Prisoner escapes in Moncton en route to St. John's

A search is underway after a man escaped his Correctional Service of Canada escort at the Greater Moncton International Airport in New Brunswick this morning.

Josh Whalen had just been released from the Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B., and was supposed to move to a halfway house in St. John’s.

Police say he was being delivered to the airport for a flight to Newfoundland and Labrador, but evaded his escort at 9:15 a.m. and got into a waiting car.

The guard reportedly gave chase, but lost him.

Whalen, who is in his early 20s, has served two-thirds of his sentence for firearms-related offences and is on statutory release.

He had been caught with a loaded handgun and stun gun in the parking lot of the Avalon Mall in St John's in 2009.

Whalen had a 9-mm Beretta and body armour, the courts heard.

He was one of four people arrested and charged with weapons offences.