Inmates captured while trying to escape prison, sheriff’s office says

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The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center, 971 Jason Lopez Circle in Florence, where two inmates gained access to a roof area of the jail complex Sunday, July 19. The inmates were located by PCSO detention staff during a search of the facility and returned to the housing unit without incident, according to PCSO Public Information Officer Mark Clark.

The inmates — Ramon Marquez, 21, and Alejandro Garcia-Barrazza, 20 — may be facing charges for attempted escape. The inmates were both housed in a minimum-security unit awaiting court proceedings for drug charges and are not considered dangerous, Mr. Clark said in an e-mail to news media.

“These are PCSO inmates, not the (Department of Corrections) inmates recently transferred from Kingman,” Mr. Clark said. “We are in the process of investigating how the two gained access to the roof and are conducting interviews to find out what their intentions were.”

The incident started at 6 p.m., when a routine head-count in the housing unit revealed that two inmates were unaccounted for. Detention personnel conducted a formal inmate count with identification checks and confirmed the two inmates were missing, Mr. Clark said.

The prison staff locked down the facility while PCSO deputies set up a perimeter around the facility and began a systematic search of the facility. The inmates were found on the roof of the administration section of the jail facility just after midnight, Mr. Clark said.

PCSO has begun a routine criminal investigation into the inmates’ actions. It also will look at its security systems and policies to assure they were correctly implemented, Mr. Clark said.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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