Two inmates who broke out of Santa Clara County jail the day before Thanksgiving will face additional charges after their re-capture.
A weeklong manhunt that reached up to the East Bay ended Wednesday night with flash-bang grenades, tear gas and the arrest of Rogelio Chavez after an eight-hour standoff in South San Jose. LaRon Campbell, his fellow escapee, was caught after crashing through the ceiling of his sister’s house in Antioch the day prior.
“I thank the incredible team of Sheriff’s Office detectives that have been working around the block on this arrest and the capture of the two fugitives, and captured within a week,” Sheriff Laurie Smith told reporters at a press conference Wednesday. “They’ve left no stone unturned and many, many sleepless nights.”
The two men escaped Nov. 23 by sawing through the bars of their second-story 20-person cell in the oldest part of the San Jose Main Jail and rappelling down knotted-together bedsheets. Two other inmates followed them out but were immediately recaptured, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Campbell and Chavez, however, led authorities on a chase that included raids at a Gilroy motel, a beat-up RV and several homes. K-9s tracked their scent along local waterways as the offer of a $20,000 reward prompted a steady stream of tips from the public.
On Wednesday, officers on the search for Chavez closed in on a home close to Oak Grove High School where they believed the suspect was hiding out. Over the course of several hours, police threw tear gas into the home, where Chavez apparently spent his final hours of freedom high on crack and weed. The standoff ended around 8:30pm with deputies escorting Chavez out of the house in handcuffs.
Karla Fernandez, who lives at the house where Chavez was found, was also arrested on suspicion of obstructing an investigation and helping a fugitive escape. She was also accused of being a felon in possession of a gun.
Two other women were arrested on similar charges. Campbell’s sister, 24-year-old Marcaysha Alexander, was booked on suspicion of harboring a fugitive. Thirty-five-year-old Emily Vaca, a woman who was detained at the Gilroy motel where Chavez was believed to be hiding out Sunday night, was also arrested on suspicion of being an accessory to a crime.
Chavez was booked in jail on August on charges of burglary, false imprisonment and extortion. Campbell had been behind bars since February 2015 on similar charges.
After Chavez’s re-arrest Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Office tweeted mug shots of him and Campbell with the hashtag #captured. Authorities said the two men will no longer be held in a minimum-security cell, which is where they were housed when they escaped.
— SantaClaraCoSheriff (@SCCoSheriff) December 1, 2016