IMPERIAL, Calif. -
The El Centro Sector Border Patrol has arrested the 27-year-old male suspect who escaped from custody while receiving a medical evaluation at El Centro Regional Medical Center.
On February 7 Raul Esparza was arrested by Border Patrol agents on felony illegal immigrant smuggling charges. While in custody, Esparza requested medical attention and was taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center for care. While at the medical facility, Esparza escaped from Border Patrol custody the next morning.
Agents said they conducted an extensive search at and around the hospital, but Esparza was nowhere to be found. El Centro Sector Border Patrol immediately released information about Esparza’s escape to warn residents and seek assistance from the community.
Tips from the public helped Border Patrol agents locate and arrest Esparza in El Centro, Calif. without incident.
“Applying the basic principles of community policing, I had a high level of confidence that this fugitive would be captured after notifying the residents of the Imperial Valley,” said Assistant Chief Patrol Agent David Kim. “Most people want to do the right thing and the tips we received that led to Mr. Esparza’s arrest demonstrate that the residents here are committed to community safety.”
Esparza will be processed and charged with felony illegal immigrant smuggling.