Rocky Marquez, 34, walked out the front door of a Detroit jail last week. He wasn’t being released; it was a jail break. It took guards at that jail five days (FIVE) to realize Marquez was missing. If that doesn’t make you feel just a tad less safe this afternoon, I’d like to take this opportunity to point out this isn’t Marquez’s first successful jail break. He did the same thing eight months ago in a Phoenix prison.
In fact, the fugitive was awaiting extradition back to Phoenix after his last prison break. He’s a career criminal who’s apparently been convicted of drug smuggling, perjury and witness tampering. And, in a statement of the obvious, U.S. Marshal David Gonzalez reportedly said:
“He obviously has a penchant for getting out of jail and wanting to stay out of jail, but hopefully we can put an end to that run here soon.”
Oh, good. The U.S. Marshall is ‘hopeful.’ That makes me feel safe.
So, how did Marquez do it? Well, forget having your cat infiltrate the prison facility with your cell phone, charger, and file! His plans are much simpler than training a cat. Marquez befriends other inmates who look somewhat like him, convinces them to switch identities with him, and typically just walks out. Again—using the front door. As Deputy U.S. Marshal Frederick J. Freeman so eloquently put it:
“He’s smarter than your average criminal.”
Really? You think?
Actually, I don’t think he’s smarter than the average criminal. I think Marquez has found an easy way—an obvious way– to beat the system. I think he’s observant; not a genius. I think we just don’t want to consider the idea that it could be so easy to get out of prison—that there could possibly be gaping holes in prison security that would allow such things to happen.
In the meantime, there’s a nationwide fugitive search—including the fugitive apprehension team and all other police agencies—looking for Marquez. If it took them five days to figure out he was missing, I wonder how many days it will take for them to catch up with him. He has one helluva head start.