MERCED, California, (KSEE) – The Merced County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday the arrest of six people who allegedly helped six inmates escape from the Merced County Jail. They include:
- 46-year-old Sonia Montes from Merced
- 66-year-old Elvira Aleman De Montes from Atwater
- 20-year-old Alexia Hernandez-Ramirez from Atwater
- 19-year-old Arthur Quirarte from Atwater
- 41-year-old Rosario Coronado from Merced
- 28-year-old Raheem Hill from Merced
It was also determined several other individuals may have been involved. Investigators are looking into other possible conspirators.
Criminal defense attorney David Mugridge says each of the alleged accomplices could face a maximum sentence of 3 years and 8 months per inmate they helped escape, but their sentencing will depend on several key factors – including their involvement and criminal history.
“Did they actually plan it, did they just come along for the ride if you will, did they do something that makes them more significant, for example, if there was only one getaway car then obviously that person involved in the getaway is very, very important,” said Mugridge.
Mugridge advises anyone else involved in the escape to come forward with information and turn themselves in.
“We have to take a look at the facts. Were they aware they did something was wrong in the early stages and they regretted it and turned themselves in? That would be a smart thing to do at this point,” said Mugridge.
Still on the run are 19-year-old Gabriel Coronado and 20-year-old Jorge Barron, both from Atwater, and 21-year-old Manuel Leon from Vallejo.
Merced County Sheriff’s Office believes the inmates may be getting help – but deputies are confident they will all be found. Of the captures, one was caught in Firebaugh and the other two in San Diego.
There is a reward of up to $10,000 per escapee being offered by the United States Marshals Service for information leading to the apprehension of 20-year-old Jorge Barron from Atwater, 19-year-old Gabriel Coronado from Atwater, and 21-year-old Manuel Leon from Vallejo.
Officials said the escapees are considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who sees them should not approach and instead call 911.
A TIP LINE has been set up by the US Marshals Service and all information given can remain anonymous and could help bring these criminals to justice. To provide information you can call: 1-877-WANTED-2 (1-877-926-8332) or you can submit a tip online.