SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Tools to cut through steel grates and ropes for inmates to escape are just a few key items Loc Ba Nguyen smuggled onto the Orange County jail grounds helping three dangerous criminals escape.
More than a year-and-a half after the daring jailbreak, the Costa Mesa man was sentenced to a year in county jail. Officials say Hassain Nayeri, Jonathan Thieu and Bac Duong planned for seven months and that Loc Ba Nguyen played a big role in their escape.
A few days before the January 2016 escape, Nguyen visited one of the men at the Santa Ana jail and got a list of things requested by the trio.
First it was a backpack with rope, a knife and clothing attached to a rope so the men could get away. Then the accomplice returned to the jail and left a duffel bag, more clothing, two pair of wire cutters and two cellphones.
Prosecutors say Nguyen is the one who picked the escapees up in a car before dawn after they used the ropes to scale down four stories from the roof.
Nguyen drove them to a house where they hid out and eventually made their way to Northern California.
There was a $200,000 reward for anyone who could help with information which could lead to the inmates capture. After eight days, they were arrested and thrown back in jail.
Nguyen was taken into custody while the men were still on the loose. In exchange for pleading guilty to smuggling a weapon into the jail and helping in the jail escape, Nguyen will get a year sentence. A judge has allowed him to surrender at the end of September so he can have time to get someone to take over his construction business.