MECHANICSBURG – Law enforcement, including members of the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, were seeking an inmate who escaped from the Tri-County Regional Jail at 5:36 p.m. on Thursday. He was still at large as of press time at 10 p.m. on Thursday.
The area in the search for Staling J. Santos-Reyes, 40, of Bronx, New York, included a large portion of the eastern part of the county, and Mechanicsburg residents were being advised to stay indoors Thursday night.
Jail staff reported that Santos-Reyes escaped while performing a work detail.
While being escorted by staff as he took out the trash, he reportedly fled, climbed a fence and fled on foot from the facility.
Earlier this year, Santos-Reyes had been apprehended by the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Madison County with a massive amount of heroin and may have been a drug mule, transporting the drug from California to New York in exchange for $7,500.
He was later arraigned on one count of possession of drugs, a first-degree felony, and possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony, in Madison County Common Pleas Court.
If found guilty, Santos-Reyes faces up to 12 years in prison for the crimes.
He was in custody at Tri-County Regional Jail with bond set at $300,000.
The jail houses inmates from Champaign, Madison and Union counties.
A nationwide escape warrant has been issued for Santos-Reyes, who is 5-foot-6, 140 pounds.
Residents within a three-mile radius of the jail were notified of the escape by the emergency calling system on Thursday.