SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — One of the escaped Santa Ana Jail inmates has a clear penchant for being chased by law enforcement.
CBS2’s Cristy Fajardo learned Sunday that Hossein Nayeri, 37, has been the subject of at least two prior manhunts.
Nayeri had been held without bond since September 2014 on charges of kidnapping, torture, aggravated mayhem and burglary. Nayeri and three other men are accused of kidnapping a California marijuana dispensary owner in 2012. They drove the dispensary owner to a desert spot where they believed he had hidden money and then cut off his penis, authorities said.
Nayeri also reportedly tortured the man with a blow torch.
After the crime, Nayeri fled the U.S. to his native Iran, where he remained for several months. He was arrested in Prague in November 2014 while changing flights from Iran to Spain to visit family.
Fajardo learned that he was the subject of another manhunt in 2005. He was accused of killing his passenger in a DUI crash in Madera County.
The attorney for his victim’s family told her Nayeri at that time was on the run for three-and-one-half years. When he was finally caught and tried, he faced up to a 10-year sentence. Instead, she said, he got much less.
“Had he have received a different sentence,” said attorney Roger Bonakdar, “the underlying events for which he is facing charges in southern California, probably might not have been able to transpire.”
But despite Nayeri’s history and the other fugitives international ties The Orange County Sheriff’s Department says for now they are keeping the search local.
“There is nothing to suggest the men have left the country,” said Lt. Jeff Hallock of the OC Sheriff’s Department.
Nayeri was already on probation at the time he is accused of abducting the dispensary owner and cutting off his penis.
A week before the planned abduction, Nayeri committed a routine traffic violation but refused to pull over and led Newport Beach police on a high-speed chase.
Images released Sunday show the anatomy of the Santa Ana jail escape. Deputies say the three fugitives cut through metal to escape their dorm style cell. In grainy surveillance video, the men are then shown on the prison roof, around 5 a.m. Friday.They moved some barbed wire out of their path and than rappelled down the four-story wall — using a braided linen rope — to freedom.
On the ground, they made a run for it. A bloodhound picked up their scent but it appears the men jumped into a waiting vehicle as the trail went cold just outside the jail.
Officials said Sunday that tips were pouring in. There is now a $50,000 reward leading to the capture of the suspects.
In addition to Nayeri, authorities are also looking for 20-year old murder suspect Jonathan Tieu and attempted murder suspect Bac Duong.