Captured Ottawa County Jail escapee charged with carjacking

05/04/2012 1:05 PM

05/04/2012 1:05 PM

One of four men who escaped last week from the Ottawa County Jail has been indicted on federal carjacking charges, federal and state officials announced Tuesday.

Eric Jerome James, 22, is charged with one count of carjacking after he escaped from the north-central Kansas jail April 18, said U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom and Ray Roberts, state corrections secretary. James was the last of the four escapees to be arrested when he was taken into custody last Friday in Omaha.

The indictment alleges James assaulted a driver of a 2002 Nissan Altima in Ottawa County on the day of the escape and stole a the vehicle.

The Ottawa County sheriff has said the inmates used homemade knives to overpower two guards, get into the jail’s control room and open doors. The four inmates, including Santos Carrera-Morales, who was convicted of two 2007 murders in Wichita, have been taken to the state prison in Ellsworth.

If convicted, James faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. He was serving a state sentence for robbery and other crimes.

In other indictments:

•  Darren M. Leon, 42, Derby, is charged with seven counts of wire fraud. The indictment alleges the crimes took place while Leon worked as a client services specialist for Kemp Construction Co. in Derby.

Leon’s job involved soliciting business, submitting bids on behalf of Kemp and arranging for subcontractors to complete the work. On numerous occasions Kemp received contracts and performed work, but Leon sent bills to customers representing that another company with which he was associated, Pure Construction Consultants, had done the work, the indictment said.

After an internal investigation, Kemp concluded that Leon had diverted business and money from Kemp on approximately 89 different jobs.

•  Francisco Barrios, 29, Wichita, is charged with distribution of methamphetamine on Aug. 30 in Sedgwick County.
•  Thomas Griffen, Jr., 21, Wichita, and Jordan Smith, 22, are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in 2010 and 2011 in Sedgwick County.

In addition, Smith is charged with seven counts of wire fraud, one count of possession of a stolen identification document, one count of misusing an identification document, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of unlawful possession of a driver’s license belonging to another person. Griffen is charged with five counts of wire fraud.

The indictment alleges the conspiracy involved selling stolen property on Craigslist.

•  Candido Hernandez-Montoya, 46, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found April 4 in Sedgwick County.
•  Amy Renae Longbine, 36, Wichita, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine on Dec. 12, 2010, in Sedgwick County
•  Benjamin Valdez-Martinez, 59, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by an illegal alien on Nov. 22 in Sedgwick County.
•  Antonio Hernandez-Gutierrez, 46, a citizen of Mexico, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found April 18 in Sedgwick County.
•  Martin Lopez-Ramos, 31, a citizen of Guatemala, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found April 5 in Sedgwick County.
•  Joshua P. Harris, 37, Wichita, is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm on March 14 in Sedgwick County after a felony conviction and one count of possession of a stolen firearm.
•  Ledon Williams, 29, Wichita, is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm on April 17 in Sedgwick County after a felony conviction.
•  Carlos Manuel Buten, 26, Dodge City, is charged with one count of bank robbery with a dangerous weapon. The indictment alleges that on April 17, he robbed Dodge City’s Western State Bank.

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