Everything to Know About Quawntay “Bosco” Adams’ Ingenious Prison Break
The unbelievable story of a man who escaped federal lockup gets the film treatment in Bosco, a Peacock exclusive dropping February 2, 2024.
Bosco follows the life of Quawntay “Bosco” Adams, a brand-new father whose only wish is to see his newborn daughter for the first time. However, there exists one problem: Bosco is serving a 35-year sentence in a maximum-security wing following a federal conviction for possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute.
The new film captures how an ever-determined Bosco manages to break free from the bars around him despite being under 24-hour surveillance ahead of his trial. According to the movie’s bio, “For the chance to be at his first child’s birth, he planned an ingenious escape with the help of a lonely Missouri woman that he meets by replying to a personal ad.”
Bosco stars Aubrey Joseph (Cloak and Dagger, Little Fires Everywhere), with Thomas Jane, Vivica A. Fox, Theo Rossi, Tyrese Gibson, and Nikki Blonsky as supporting cast.
Who is Quawntay “Bosco” Adams?
Quawntay “Bosco” Adams reportedly grew up between Los Angeles’ Compton and Long Beach and dropped out of school in the eighth grade, according to the Los Angeles Wave News Group. By 14 years old, Adams was already a ward of the California Youth Authority for selling marijuana and was later sent to the St. Clair County Jail in Belleville, Illinois, following an altercation with a California juvie guard.
In April 2023, Adams told the outlet he had no intentions of staying locked up. Despite two attempted jail breaks from the St. Clair facility — less than 20 miles southeast of St. Louis, Missouri — Adams was captured each time.
“I was determined to escape prison because I had just had a newborn daughter,” said Adams. “I never even got a chance to hold her in my arms. I never imagined that I would bring a child into the world and not be able to be a father to her. Just the mere idea of being a deadbeat daddy or loser was destroying me. I had to do something about it.”
A jailhouse snitch reportedly thwarted Adams’ second jailbreak attempt.
Bosco’s 2004 Arrest
Despite two previous attempts to escape jail, Adams’ most brazen escape came following a 2004 sting operation in which Adams and two others attempted to take a van that law enforcement filled with 1,400 pounds of marijuana, per the Los Angeles Wave.
Owing partly to Adams’ juvenile offenses, he was sentenced to a whopping 35 years in prison for the non-violent offense.
Lawmakers have since grown laxer in marijuana convictions. On October 6, 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden issued a presidential proclamation pardoning many federal convictions for simple marijuana possession and use offenses.
Adams was transferred to the Alton City Jail in Alton, Illinois — 25 miles north of St. Louis, Missouri, on the Mississippi River — ahead of his trial. Despite its name, the facility is unique in that it is a municipal facility that houses both state and federal prisoners, per the jail’s website.
“I paid attention to every little thing and started forming an escape plan as soon as I walked through the gates,” said Adams, according to the Wave.
Adams was placed in a maximum-security wing and placed under 24-hour watch due to his past jailbreak attempts, but he spent most of his days “staring at the four walls thinking about different ways to escape,” he said.
Adams’ Big Escape
In Alton, Adams was taught how to rig the phones and make calls that went undetected by authorities. That was how he met a single Missouri woman, who agreed to meet him outside the gates upon Adams’ release. However, the woman was reportedly unaware that Adams was making a run for it.
On May 2, 2006, Adams escaped the facility, as reported by Kankakee’s Daily-Journal.
According to the Los Angeles Wave, Adams realized that surveillance cameras failed to point at his toilet. Around this time, he had a friend mail him a book with a hidden hacksaw blade inside and collected additional saw blades that guards had confiscated.
Adams distracted guards by instigating arguments among his cellmates, and he used the loud volume of rap battles as an advantage to saw through the ceiling above the toilet. He would then ad-hoc a plaster made of soap and toothpaste to cover the hole.
On the night of his big escape, Adams smuggled in a uniform and used water bottles to make it appear he was in bed. He then snuck through the air ventilation system and scaled the wall using tied bed sheets to meet his female associate.
Alton Police Chief Chris Sullivan said there was nothing to raise any flags for Adams’ handlers, according to CBS affiliate WFMY-TV.
“We verified the computer logs and talked to the jailor,” said Sullivan. “We also reviewed the video logs and were able to verify that the bed checks were done as they were supposed to do.”
Adams and his female pen pal were arrested six hours later at a Budget Inn motel in Wentzville, Missouri, about 40 miles northeast of St. Louis. Both were placed under arrest.
Life After Prison
Adams’ real break came in 2020 after he fired his court-appointed attorney, according to the Los Angeles Wave. Adams represented himself, and later that year, he was released after serving 16 and a half years behind bars.
That was three years after Adams penned his autobiography, Chasin’ Freedum.
“I hope that my story will inspire other youths, especially the young people in Compton, to continue to pursue their dreams,” Adams told the Wave. “I don’t give up. I’ve always had an ambitious heart, and I’ve always been determined. When I want something, I go after it.”
Quawntay “Bosco” Adams has since become a motivational speaker, as featured on his Instagram page.