SANTA FE COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – It was a case of mistaken release from jail that was so simple, it’s almost scary. An inmate duped guards when she claimed to be someone else.
On Saturday, panic spread through guards at the Santa Fe County Detention Center when they realized an inmate was accidentally released in place of another inmate.
The panic, however, didn’t last long. The inmate, Angelina Jinzo, was found by Santa Fe County Sheriff’s deputies just up Highway 14 near the Rail Runner 599 Station within the hour.
KRQE News 13 has obtained the deputy’s lapel video, which begins as the deputy approaches Jinzo on the side of the road.
Deputy: “Did you just come from the jail?”
Jinzo: “Right, Andrea Quintana.”
The video shows Jinzo wearing a pink shirt with a cross, jeans and carrying two bags. Deputies cuff her and take her back to the jail, where she and the guards are questioned.
“The inmates were in the day room and I called out the name several times, ‘Andrea Quintana,'” a guard told the deputy. “So, this girl at the table, she’s like, ‘I’m Andrea Quintana.'”
The real Quintana’s bond had been posted.
The guard told the deputy she took the woman’s word for face value because the inmate claimed to not have a jail ID on her. That woman was really Jinzo.
At that point, Jinzo, posing as Quintana, passed through several more guards who eventually turned her loose after she signed off on some papers.
The guard told deputies she was alerted to the mistake by other inmates who found Jinzo’s actual jail ID where she was sitting when the guard called for Andrea Quintana.
The guard says she then radioed to stop the release of Jinzo and ran to find the real Quintana, but by then it was too late.
“Dead asleep. And I shook her and I was like, ‘Are you Andrea?'” the guard said of when she located the real Quintana. “She’s like, ‘Yeah’…[and] I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh.'”
Yet, Jinzo told the deputies who found her that she truly thought she was being released.
Deputies grilled her on why, then, she signed Quintana’s release paperwork, put on Quintana’s clothes and took her belongings on the way out.
Jinzo: “Those bags, I didn’t… I don’t remember seeing them or I don’t know if they…”
Deputy: “So, why did you take them?”
Jinzo: “Because I really just didn’t know…”
Other deputy: “You’re lying.”
Jinzo: “No, I’m not lying to you.”
Other deputy: “Yes, you’re lying.”
Deputies wondered if the real Quintana had anything to do with the escape, but eventually determined that she did not.
In the end, Jinzo was charged with escaping from jail and forgery. She had been in for unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and driving on a suspended license.
When KRQE News 13 reached out to Santa Fe County officials, a spokeswoman said, “The facility is enhancing its release process to make sure multiple checks and balances are in place. Santa Fe County is committed to continuously improving its operations. Accordingly, we are reviewing Saturday’s walk-out to identify the root cause of the event.”