Complaint filed in district court against escapee

By Nick Walton - [email protected]



A criminal complaint has been filed in a U.S. District Court against an inmate who escaped from the Tri-County Regional Jail last month.

An affidavit in support of an application for a federal arrest warrant and complaint against Staling J. Santos-Reyes, 40, for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on May 5 by Deputy U.S. Marshal Karolina Duda.

The affidavit details Santos-Reyes’ alleged criminal conduct prior to being taken to the Tri-County Jail and conversations he had in the jail.

The affidavit states on Feb. 7, an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper initiated a traffic stop on a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze in Madison County after a marked lane violation. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Santos-Reyes.

During the 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.

On March 9, Santos-Reyes was charged in Madison County with possession of drugs, a first degree felony, and possession of criminal tools, a fifth degree felony. His bond was established at $300,000 on March 23 and was housed at the jail.

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

The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office contacted Duda on April 28 requesting assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service in capturing Santos-Reyes. Upon reviewing the case, Duda confirmed through Homeland Security Investigations that Santos-Reyes is a citizen of the Dominican Republic.

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 on one count of escape, a second degree felony, for fleeing from the jail last Thursday.


By Nick Walton

[email protected]

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331, ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331, ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.