updated 6/9/2007 2:42:35 AM ET 2007-06-09T06:42:35

Two inmates, including one who was once accused of plotting to kidnap David Letterman’s son, escaped Friday in a truck while working at a state prison ranch.

Kelly A. Frank, 45, and convicted burglar William J. Willcutt, 22, were assigned to a crew that moves irrigation pipe at the prison ranch, jail officials said.

A supervisor noticed Willcutt and the 1965 truck were missing around 4:20 p.m., and the prison was locked down, a jail statement said. An inmate count showed Frank was also gone.

The missing truck had been assigned to Frank, the statement said.

Officers began immediately began searching the area, and law enforcers and the Montana Highway Patrol were notified, the statement said. The half-ton spray truck was found off prison property around 5:30 p.m.

Frank was arrested in March 2005 on allegations that he had devised a plan to kidnap Letterman’s son, lied to investigators and overcharged Letterman for painting work at his ranch.

Prosecutors later dropped a charge of solicitation to kidnap, in exchange for guilty pleas on three other charges, including felony theft and misdemeanor obstruction.

Frank was sentenced to 10 years in prison for overcharging the talk show host.

Telephone and e-mail messages Friday to Kim Krizzo-Emmet, Letterman’s publicist at CBS, were not immediately returned.

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