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$5,000 Rewards for Info Leading to Arrests of Merced Escapees



Photo of handcuffs and $100 bills signifying reward money for catching escapes inmates
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The Merced County Sheriff’s Office is working with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to catch six men who escaped from the county’s downtown Merced jail.

The U.S. Marshals Service set up a tip line and is offering rewards of up to $5,000 per escapee for information leading to their arrests.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-877-WANTED-2 (1-877-926-8332) or visit the following link: Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Escapees Considered Armed and Dangerous

All six escapees should be considered armed and dangerous, the sheriff’s office said.

Jail staff noticed the missing inmates sometime around midnight Saturday.

“A preliminary investigation has determined that the inmates were able to gain access to the roof of the facility and utilize a homemade rope to scale down the side of the jail,” the sheriff’s office said.

Mug shots of six Merced County jail escapees

On Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, at about midnight, six inmates escaped from the Merced County Downtown Jail facility. All six inmates are considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information or anyone who sees these individuals is asked not to approach them and to immediately call 911. (Facebook/Madera Police Department)

Anyone who spots the fugitives is asked not to approach them and immediately call 911.

Five of the Escapees Charged With Violent Crimes

All but one of the suspects is charged with violent felonies, including murder.

They were identified as Jorge Barron, 20, of Atwater, California; Gabriel Francis Coronado, 19, of Atwater; Manuel Allen Leon, 21, of Vallejo, California; Andres Nunez Rodriguez Jr., 21 of Planada, California; Fabian Cruz Roman, 22 of Los Banos, California; and Edgar Eduardo Ventura, 22 of Portland, Oregon.

Roman is facing a murder charge. Coronado and Rodriguez Jr. face charges including attempted murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, participation in a criminal street gang, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Ventura is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, participation in a criminal street gang and violation of probation.

Leon is charged with assault with a firearm, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, reckless driving to evade an officer, being a felon in possession of a firearm and violation of probation.

Barron faces a probation violation charge.

Watch: Sheriff Vern Warnke Talks About Jail Escape

(Associated Press contributed to this report.)