Prison escapee caught in Merced after 13 years

SACRAMENTO — Octavio Raso Quiroz, who escaped from a California Men's Colony inmate work crew in San Luis Obispo 13 years ago, was arrested this morning in Merced by Special Service Unit agents with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

A CDCR agent in the Fresno office investigated a lead and learned Quiroz, 39, was living in Chowchilla under an assumed name. Agents took Quiroz into custody in a shopping center parking lot without incident at 8:20 a.m. Quiroz admitted to the agents he was the escapee.

"We can credit the attentiveness and diligence of a correctional case records manager at CMC with providing a lead in this case," said Richard Rimmer, assistant secretary of the CDCR Office of Correctional Safety. "We aggressively seek fugitives who escape our custody. We never stop looking for them."

Quiroz was four months into a six-year sentence from Los Angeles County, when he ran away from an outside work crew on Sept. 21, 1995. The crew was working at Camp San Luis Obispo.

Quiroz was sent to state prison in May 1995 for several counts of possession and sale of heroin and cocaine. In August 1995, he was transferred to the minimum-security facility at CMC.

CDCR agents are transporting Quiroz to CMC, where he will be housed in the prison's administrative segregation unit pending transfer to a higher security prison. He could face new felony charges of escape.

Of all inmates who escaped from a state prison, conservation camp or community-based program between 1977 and 2007, 99.1 percent have been apprehended, according ot the CDCR.