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3 arrested after allegedly using 'homemade rope' to escape California county jail

The men were all arrested “without incident” on Tuesday after escaping from Merced County jail, the sheriff’s office said.
Merced County Sheriff
Merced County Sheriff Dept. in Merced, Calif.Google Maps

Authorities in California arrested three of the six men who escaped from a county jail Sunday, allegedly by using a homemade rope to scale down its walls.

On Tuesday afternoon, deputies with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office arrested 22-year-old Edgar Ventura without incident in the city of Firebaugh, about 35 miles south of the Merced County Jail, the office said in a statement. Later that day, authorities said they apprehended Fabian Cruz Roman, 22, and Andres Nunez, 21, without incident in the San Diego area.

Venturo was in custody for possession of a firearm and violation of probation, Roman for murder charges, and Rodriguez for attempted murder charges and possession of a firearm.

The six inmates, all 19 to 22 years old, were first reported missing from their cells earlier this week, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Investigators said the men gained access to the roof of the facility where they used a “homemade rope to scale down the side of the jail,” the sheriff’s office said.

The three remaining inmates are: Jorge Barron, 20; Gabriel Francis Coronado, 19; and Manuel Allen Leon, 21.

The sheriff’s office said Monday that a task force was formed to track down the fugitives, including the United States Marshals Service, the Department of Justice and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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The agency is offering a reward of up to $5,000 per person for information leading to the arrest of the escapees, who are believed to be “armed and dangerous,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Merced is a city with almost 85,000 people, about 115 miles east of San Jose.