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Two escaped inmates from the Monterey County Jail in Salinas Sunday were caught at the U.S.-Mexico border at about midnight Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said Wednesday morning.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents arrested the two men near Tijuana while they were attempting to cross back into the U.S., according to sheriff’s Capt. John Thornburg.

Santos Fonseca, 21, and Jonathan Salazar, 20, were transferred back into Monterey County custody at about 5 a.m., Thornburg said. The sheriff’s office served a warrant late Tuesday night looking for Salazar inside a Motel 6 in Marina, but the report that he was there was unfounded.

Thornburg said:

“We had a very credible report, we thought, that was Mr. Salazar in the Motel 6 in Marina.” 

Thornburg added:

“It all looked like we had Mr. Salazar in the motel room there, we got a warrant signed by a judge to go in and get him. Unfortunately last night, he wasn’t there.” 

Fonseca was being held on two counts of murder and attempted robbery after being arrested for two shootings in 2018 in Salinas. Salazar was arrested in July 2018 on charges stemming from a fatal October 2017 shooting in Salinas.

Monterey County Sheriff's Department Santos Fonseca, 21, and Jonathan Salazar, 20, both escaped from Monterey County Jail in Salinas, Calif. Sunday, November 3, 2019. Both men were in custody on murder charges.

Describing how the two men escaped, Thornburg said:

“[They] broke through the ceiling, and then went over to a maintenance crawl space and out the maintenance hatch.”

He said the men, both about 5-foot-7 and 150 to 160 pounds each, were able to squeeze through a maintenance area about 11 inches in width, after cutting a hole in the ceiling about 22 inches long and 8 inches wide.

Thornburg said another inmate escaped about five years ago from another housing unit through an air duct.

The two men were back at the Monterey County Jail being processed Wednesday afternoon.

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