By MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News
(MERCED COUNTY, Calif.) — Authorities in California are still on the hunt for three of the six men they say escaped from jail over the weekend using a makeshift rope.
The six inmates, who range in age from 19 to 22, were first discovered missing from their cells at the Merced County Downtown Jail, about 100 miles east of San Jose, just before midnight Sunday. The men managed to get to the roof of the building and used a “homemade rope to scale down the side of the jail,” according to a press release from the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.
One of the men — 22-year-old Edgar Ventura of Portland, Oregon — was apprehended without incident Tuesday afternoon in the city of Firebaugh, about 40 miles south of the jail in Merced. Ventura was in custody on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, participation in a criminal street gang and a probation violation, according to the sheriff’s office.
Two more of the escapees — 21-year-old Andres Nunez Rodriguez of Planada, California, and 22-year-old Fabian Cruz Roman of Los Banos, California — were apprehended without incident in the San Diego area on Tuesday night and transported back to the jail in Merced. Roman was in custody for murder charges, while Rodriguez was being held for attempted murder charges, according to the sheriff’s office.
The other three — 20-year-old Jorge Barron of Atwater, California, 19-year-old Gabriel Francis Coronado, also of Atwater, and 21-year-old Manuel Allen Leon of Vallejo, California — remain on the run and are wanted by the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.
Barron — who is described as a Hispanic man standing 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing 140 pounds — was in custody for a probation violation.
Coronado — who is described as a Hispanic man standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 225 pounds — was being held on charges of attempted murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, participation in a criminal street gang, being a felon in possession of a firearm and a probation violation.
Leon — who is described as a Hispanic man standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 165 pounds — was in custody on charges of assault with a firearm, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, evading peace officer — reckless driving, participation in a criminal street gang and carrying a loaded firearm.
The Merced County Sheriff’s Office said it is working with several local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the United States Marshals Service, to track down and apprehend the escaped inmates. The Marshals Service has set up a tip line at 1-877-WANTED-2, along with a website: https://www.usmarshals.gov/tips/index.html.
A reward of up to $5,000 per escapee is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to their capture.
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