It’s not often that you see people trying to sneak across the border INTO Mexico. But it appears that was the case with two inmates who escaped prison earlier this week. But here’s where it gets interesting.
Two wanted individuals were caught by Customs and Border Protection this week… when they were trying to reenter the United States via the Tijuana port of entry after recently escaping from a California jail. The two individuals were both in jail, awaiting trial for charges of murder for the both of them.
Escape from Monterey County Jail. Inmates Santos Fonseca (left) and Jonathan Salazar (right) escaped from jail this morning. Both were in custody for murder and other violent charges. Please call MCSO at 755-3722 with any information of their whereabouts pic.twitter.com/uxIACTb2OT
— Monterey Co Sheriff (@MCoSheriff) November 3, 2019
The two murder suspects, Jonathan Salazar and Santos Fonseca , had escaped from a California jail over the weekend this past Sunday and were arrested by federal officials while trying to enter the United States from Mexico, authorities had said.
The motivation behind exiting the coutry after their jail and then an attempt to reenter hasn’t been disclosed yet as of this time.
Monterey County Sheriff’s Office Captain John Thornburg had stated that Jonathan Salazar, 20, and Santos Fonseca, 21, were arrested by Customs and Border Protection officials at a port of entry at Tijuana just after midnight on November 7, 2019 while they were opting to simply walk through the border’s port of entry.
Captain John Thornburg had mentioned that the two are currently in the custody of Monterey County officials and are on their way back to a jail in Salinas, hundreds of miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. This being the jail that the pair had also previously escaped from just earlier this month.
Like something straight out of the classic film “Escape from Alcatraz”, Salazar and Fonseca had escaped Sunday from the Monterey County jail in Salinas after climbing through a hole they made in the ceiling of a bathroom, narrowly squeezing through a hollow wall and kicking open a hatch as a means to aid in their efforts to attain freedom.
Thornburg said authorities had received a tip that the pair, both born and raised in California, had been spotted in the Mexican border city of Tijuana and had alerted federal officials once becoming privy to the potential whereabouts of the two escaped inmates.
While local authorities were following leads to expedite the retrieval of the two escapees, a tip had come in reporting that Salazar had been possibly spotted at a motel in Marina about 10 miles from the Marin County jail in Salinas.
Fox News reported that on Tuesday, deputies responded to a Motel 6 in the town of Marina around 11:30 a.m.
Law enforcement officers were tipped off when “an employee [of the motel] reported that 20-year-old Jonathan Salazar was hiding out in the building.”
At the time of the arrival to the motel, there was no response from the room that Salazar was thought to be in. The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office reported in a statement that, “after about eight hours of trying to make contact with the escapee believed inside a Motel 6 in the town of Marina, police SWAT deployed a flash grenade and raided what turned out to be an empty motel room.”
After the raid, Capt. John Thornburg of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office said they concluded that while he might’ve been there, he had escaped justice yet again.
Officers “searched the room and he is not here. I’m confident nobody left the motel after we got here, so that time between them calling and us getting here he apparently did leave.”
#NOW: @MCoSheriff SWAT team just arrived at Motel 6 in #Marina after employee tipped off police escaped inmate Jonathan Salazar was at motel. Salazar is currently holed up in room, sheriff’s office says no sign of other escaped inmate Santos Fonseca. #ktvu pic.twitter.com/VQKYB0oINr
— Azenith Smith (@AzenithKTVU) November 6, 2019
“We have a strong belief that he was here, OK, from the witness or the person that called, the interviews we conducted,” he said. “It’s disappointing. I mean, we’ve been out here for hours, and, you know, people are waiting and we’re trying to do everything we can to locate this person along with the other gentleman and take him into custody.”
It is reported that police evacuated both the hotel and a nearby restaurant while securing the area around the motel. Officers called out over a loudspeaker demanding that Salazar exit the room if he was inside, using both English and Spanish in hopes to communicate completely with the suspect.
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SWAT arrived on scene at 6 p.m., with the flash bang grenade being deployed around 7 p.m., followed by the raid and search of the room. Police K9s were brought in to search the rest of the motel for Salazar.
Earlier this week, we reported on the escape of Salazar and fellow inmate Santos Fonseca, both being held on murder charges, from the California jail.
Police called Salazar and Forenseca “extremely dangerous” murder suspects.
According to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, they escaped from the Adult Detention Facility in the early morning, unannounced.
They are both five-feet-seven-inches tall with black hair and brown eyes. Fonseca weighs 150 pounds and Salazar weighs 170 pounds.
They’ve been in jail since 2018, where they were awaiting trial on unrelated murder counts “along with numerous other felony charges,” a sheriff’s statement said.
Because of California laws, authorities will not say whether or not the suspects are legally in the country. We also know that authorities aren’t allowed to work with ICE, which regularly impedes investigations.
Monterey County Sheriff’s Office says SWAT entered the room at the Motel 6 and Jonathan Salazar WAS NOT THERE. They believe he was at the motel today but no indication of how he got away. The investigation and search for the two murder suspect who escaped from the jail continues pic.twitter.com/aPUkwKam6M
— Aaron Groff (@AaronGroffTV) November 6, 2019
According to local media outlets, Fonseca was being held on two counts of murder and attempted robbery on a $2.25 million bail after being arrested for a June 2018 shooting, and another deadly shooting three days earlier.
Salazar had been arrested in the shooting death of 20-year-old Jaime Martinez. The victim, who was driving in Salinas with his girlfriend and 18-month-old son, was killed as a result of gun shot wounds. Martinez’s girlfriend was shot as well and was treated at a local hospital and survived, while the child wasn’t hurt at all during the flurry of gunfire.
Police investigated the October 12, 2017, shooting as being gang-related. Officers said his tattoos, which included the letter P on his cheek, refer to his Sureño offshoot gang, La Posada Trece, the Californian reported. His trial was scheduled to begin in January.
Fonseca is charged with shooting Lorenzo Gomez Acosta, 37, to death on June 2, 2018, while the victim sat in his car on a video call with his wife in Mexico, the Californian reported. She saw a scuffle, heard her husband screaming “no” and then gunshots rang out, Salinas police Officer Froylan Aranda said.
Fonseca told police that his gang leader told him to kill someone to prove he was still loyal to the “Boronda gang,” Detective Gabriela Contreras testified. Acosta was reportedly chosen at random.
Three days later, Fonseca shot and killed Ernesto Garcia Cruz, 27, in a Salinas park, authorities said. He told police that the gang leader also ordered the slaying and that he picked his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend “to send him a message,” Contreras said.
Investigators haven’t figured out how long they worked on making the means of escape or if anyone else had helped them escape from the jail. All that can be concluded at this time was that they were reported missing at 8:15 a.m. Sunday morning and that their escape route was discovered during the realization that they were missing.
Thankfully, both have been apprehended and will have their respective days in court.
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