Prisoner confusion leads to escape

By Justin Boron

The Sheriff's Fugitive Task Force is looking for a man who was mistakenly allowed to leave the jail where he was awaiting judicial action for a drug charge, said Jail Administrator Maj. Michael Maddox.

Jail officers confused Sergio Garcia, 19, with another prisoner who had the same name, he said.

The officers asked Garcia several questions to confirm his identity. But he misconstrued the information, leading officers to believe he was the prisoner set to be released, Maddox said.

A language barrier existed, he said.

But Garcia provided enough information to demonstrate that he understood what was going on, Maddox said.

The incident occurred Feb. 8, just before four high-ranking deputies returned to their jobs as a result of a judge's order that gave back the positions of 23 sheriff employees fired by Sheriff Victor Hill on Jan. 3.

Sheriff's officials have opened an internal investigation into the matter.

Meanwhile, they are looking for any help with locating Garcia, who investigators believe has not left the area.

Anyone with information can call the Fugitive Squad at (770)-477-4478.