Two of three inmates who escaped from an Orange County jail allegedly have ties to gang
Sheriff says five people arrested; not all members of gang; not all connected to escape
At least five people connected to a Vietnamese gang that two escaped inmates were members of have been arrested, a California sheriff said Wednesday.
Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens told reporters that more arrests were likely Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
“The (people arrested) have some connection to the individuals who have escaped,” she said. Not all the people arrested are gang members and not all are suspected in the escape.
The gang operates in Garden Grove and Westminster, she said.
Jonathan Tieu, 20, and Bac Tien Duong, 43, escaped Friday from a Santa Ana jail. Hossein Nayeri, 37, also escaped.
Hutchens said investigators are sure the trio had outside help, but it was unclear whether they had assistance from someone inside the jail. Investigators are trying to determine what tools were used in the escape. The sheriff said some of the bars showed clean cuts and were too thick to have been sawed by prison-made implements.
The sheriff said she doesn’t believe anyone sneaked into the jail.
The fugitives who vanished from Orange County Central Men’s Jail are accused of murder, attempted murder and torture. So far, police are stumped as to where they might be.
Hutchens said authorities are embarrassed.
“There’s not a member of the sheriff’s department … that does not feel that we let the public down,” she said.
The fugitives likely escaped after a 5 a.m. headcount but it wasn’t until more than 15 hours later that authorities discovered the escape.
That has prompted a change in other counts administered during the day, when some inmates have gone to court, the doctor or other parts of the jail. Now jail officers have to call and confirm the inmate is where paperwork indicates he should be.
Authorities are offering a $200,000 reward for information leading to the fugitives’ capture.
CNN’s Keith Allen contributed to this report.