Tri-County Jail escapee captured in Brooklyn, NY

Staff report



A Tri-County Regional Jail inmate who escaped from the facility in April was captured in New York City on Wednesday.

According to a press release from the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, the sheriff’s office was notified by the U.S. Marshals Service Wednesday of the apprehension of Staling J. Santos-Reyes.

Santos-Reyes, 40, was captured in Brooklyn, New York.

On April 27, Santos-Reyes escaped from the custody of the jail, 4099 State Route 559, Mechanicsburg, while working outside as a jail trustee, jumping the jail perimeter fencing.

Santos-Reyes was being held in the jail after he was charged in Madison County with possession of drugs, a first degree felony, and possession of criminal tools, a fifth degree felony.

An affidavit in support of an application for a federal arrest warrant and complaint against Santos-Reyes filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio states he was stopped by an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper on Feb. 7 in Madison County after a marked lane violation.

During an investigation of the traffic violation, five duct-taped packages of suspected heroin weighing 3,978 grams were located. The Ohio State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory later confirmed all five packages contained heroin.

Following the traffic stop, Santos-Reyes told troopers he flew from New York to California, spent two days at a hotel and was met by an individual referred to as Javier. Santos-Reyes said he and this individual flew to St. Louis on separate flights.

Santos-Reyes said he was given a duffle bag and coat in St. Louis and rented a vehicle to travel to Bronx, New York. Once in New York he was to deliver the items to an individual identified as Mexico.

Santos-Reyes received $3,000 at the beginning of the trip as a cash advance and was promised $1,500 per package once the job was complete.

A review of jail telephone conversations between Santos-Reyes and a woman identified as his girlfriend or wife indicated she advised him to flee to Mexico to avoid a potential 11-year sentence in Madison County.

A Champaign County grand jury indicted Santos-Reyes last month on one count of escape, a second degree felony, for fleeing from the jail.

The sheriff’s office press release notes a collaborative effort by the Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team, New York Regional Fugitive Task Force and the New York City Police Department is credited with apprehending Santos-Reyes.

“This currently is an active investigation and further details will be released when available,” the release states. “Sheriff Matthew R. Melvin would like to thank the United States Marshals Service, along with the Tri-County Law Enforcement agencies that assisted in this investigation.”


Staff report