MCSO Inmate Escapes In Laundry Cart (Two Weeks Ago); Arrested in New Mexico

A minimum-security inmate at one of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails escaped "several days ago," but was arrested this afternoon at his girlfriend's house in New Mexico, the MCSO announced this afternoon.

If this is the first you're hearing about an escaped MCSO inmate, that's because the Sheriff's Office didn't mention it to the media until this afternoon, when the escapee was in custody.

Additionally, "several days ago," we've come to find out, actually means inmate Jairo Contreras has been on the run for about two weeks.

Again, there was no press release from the MCSO about the escape, but when Contreras was arrested this afternoon, Arpaio decided to alert the media -- and boast his agency's "cell phone technology" (which, from the sound of things, is little more than calling a cell phone provided and asking for a cell phone number's call history).

As far as sophistication goes, the escape wasn't exactly the Shawshank Redemption -- dude got pushed out in a laundry cart.

"We believe that he got into an oversized laundry cart, covered himself, and was pushed out," MCSO spokesman Jeff Sprong tells New Times.

According to the MCSO, the agency's "cell phone technology" led them to Contreras' girlfriend in Santa Fe. Federal authorities, as well as detectives in Santa Fe, put the girlfriend's house under surveillance and eventually spotted Contreras.

After a brief car chase, he was taken into custody.

According to the MCSO, Contreras was in jail on a "minor" (a convenient adjective to use when describing an inmate who escaped from custody two weeks ago) burglary charge. 

Sprong says Contreras was about to be released from custody on a work furlough when he escaped.

Contreras, the MCSO says, will be extradited back to the Valley, where he'll face additional charges.

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