Case of escaped California inmate highlights difficulty in deporting criminals

SANTA ANA, Calif. - An inmate who along with two others escaped from a California jail had been ordered deported to Vietnam in 1998 but has been in this country running up a long police record, immigration officials said.

See Full Article

Bac Duong, 43, came to the United States legally in 1991 but was ordered removed seven years later, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement Tuesday.

The order came shortly after he served time in state prison on a 1997 burglary conviction, state records show.

The case is one of thousands involving criminal immigrants who federal authorities want to deport but haven't been able to because their native countries wouldn't take them back.

In 2012, ex-convict Binh Thai Luc was charged with killing five people in San Francisco after Vietnam didn't issue the travel documents needed to repatriate him.

Immigration officials said they took Duong into custody in 2003 and released him the following year. He continued to check in with authorities as required until 2014, the statement said.

During that time, he also faced a series of charges involving burglary and drug possession and did stints in state prison. Last year, he was charged with attempted murder and assault in the shooting of a man outside a home in Santa Ana.

Federal officials can't keep immigrants locked up indefinitely while they await deportation. Most must be released after six months, except those accused of posing a terrorist threat or deemed especially dangerous.

For many years, Vietnam did not honour U.S. government requests to repatriate deportees. In 2008, Vietnam agreed to provide travel documents for deportees but only those who entered the U.S. since July 1995.

Duong escaped from the Orange County jail on Friday along with Jonathan Tieu, 20, and Hossein Nayeri, 37, by sawing through a quarter-inch thick grill on a dormitory wall and climbing through plumbing tunnels to reach an unguarded area of the roof. There, the men moved aside razor wire and rappelled to the ground using bed linen.

All three are considered dangerous and were awaiting trial in separate violent crimes.

Authorities have focused their search in the county's sizable Vietnamese-American community, where sheriff's officials say two of the men have ties to gangs.

Tieu had been held at the county jail since 2013, accused of murder and attempted murder.

Nayeri was arrested in 2014 on charges including kidnapping and torture. Authorities said he abducted a marijuana dealer, burned him with a blow torch and cut off his penis because Nayeri thought the man had buried money in the desert.

The men were gone for as long as 16 hours before officials noticed they were missing from the common dorm they share with more than 60 other inmates at Orange County Central Jail. An attack on a guard delayed a Friday night head count further.

Authorities have detected some problems with how inmates were counted at the jail, Hallock told reporters Tuesday. Twice a day, in the morning and evening, jail personnel match photos to each inmate. At three other times, they check that the number of inmates matches jail records, he said.

"The sheriff is extremely troubled by the length of time it took to determine the three inmates housed in a maximum-security jail were unaccounted for," he said.

It was the first escape in nearly three decades from the California facility built in 1968. It holds 900 men and is in Santa Ana, about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

Federal and county authorities are offering a total of $200,000 for information leading to their capture.

-----

Associated Press writers Christopher Weber in Los Angeles and Don Thompson in Sacramento contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Most bidders who snapped up 'creepy' High River estate homes have backed out [Photos]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    It's been dubbed the creepiest neighbourhood in the world, and despite furious bidding wars over two dozen flood impacted estate homes in High River, most of the vacant properties won't be leaving anytime soon. Last week, the deadline imposed by the province passed for bidders who successfully won the 26 properties up for public auction to commit to moving them, leaving 18 of them, all in the formerly high-end neighbourhood of Beachwood Estates, with nowhere to go. Source
  • Combustible cladding could be on 600 highrise buildings in England: PM

    World News CBC News
    The British prime minister estimates 600 highrise buildings in England have cladding made of materials similar to what was found in a devastating west London fire. Theresa May told the House of Commons that authorities submitted cladding on similar buildings following the Grenfell Tower fire on June 14 that killed at least 79 people. Source
  • Prince Philip released from hospital

    World News Toronto Sun
    LONDON — Prince Philip was discharged Thursday from a London hospital after he was treated for an infection, Buckingham Palace said. Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital on Tuesday as a precautionary measure after he fell ill with an infection related to an existing health condition that wasn’t made public. Source
  • University of Toronto gets ready for graduation ceremony today for black students

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Organizers of a graduation ceremony for black students at Canada's largest university say the event is meant to acknowledge the barriers that remain for people of colour pursuing academia. The ceremony is being held Thursday at the University of Toronto after two students took it upon themselves to organize the event for black students completing degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Source
  • Prince Harry says nobody wants to be king or queen

    World News CBC News
    Prince Harry said no one in Britain's royal family wants to be king or queen and criticised a decision to force him to parade behind his mother Princess Diana's coffin after her death in 1997, according to an interview with a U.S. Source
  • Four more arrests linked to Brussels rail station attack

    World News CBC News
    Belgian authorities said Thursday that police detained four people in a series of raids in Brussels linked to the failed bombing at a rail station this week by a man reportedly shouting "Allahu akbar." The federal prosecutor's office said that the four were picked up during searches in the Molenbeek neighborhood, as well as in Anderlecht and Koekelberg. Source
  • Suicide car bombing in Afghanistan kills at least 15

    World News CBC News
    A local police chief in Afghanistan says a suicide car bombing targeted Afghan soldiers lining up outside a bank in southern Helmand province, killing at least 15 people. Provincial police chief Gen. Agha Noor Kentoz says the attacker struck on Thursday in Lashkargah, the provincial capital. Source
  • Suicide car bombing in Afghanistan kills 29

    World News CBC News
    The governor of Afghanistan's Helmand province says a suicide bombing outside a bank has killed 29 people, most of them civilians. Provincial police chief Gen. Agha Noor Kentoz says the attacker struck on Thursday in Lashkargah, the provincial capital. Source
  • Talks with Pentagon over 'interim' fighter jets continue despite Boeing snub

    Canada News CBC News
    Talks with the Pentagon about filling the Canadian air force's short-term need for jet fighters remain on track, said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. Those negotiations for a so-called "interim capability" continue despite the Liberal government making a very public display at the Paris Air Show this week of snubbing Boeing executives. Source