By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office has followed five leads on the whereabouts of fugitive inmate Ruben Lozano since he escaped Friday night with another inmate through the roof of the Roosevelt County Detention Center.
The other inmate, Stephen Phillips, 20, was captured shortly after the escape.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Malin Parker said his office searched two homes Monday morning as they moved into the fourth day of their search, but declined to say where those homes are located.
Lozano, 42, of Portales, was being held on charges of trafficking methamphetamine. Parker says he doesn’t feel Lozano is a major threat to the community’s safety, but that authorities continue to search for him diligently.
“We’re going to work on this with the same drive until we get him caught,” Parker said. “He will get caught. Everyone gets caught; it’s just a matter of when.”
Parker says area law agencies are assisting in the search and agencies in surrounding communities have been notified about his escape.
“Last time he was picked up (for drug trafficking), he was picked up in Lubbock,” Parker said.
Parker added there have been no sightings of Lozano.
“We are following up on every lead we get,” Parker said. “We’re beating every bush for him.”
Lozano escaped with Phillips, who was being held on multiple charges related to burglary, through an air vent in Lozano’s cell, though the two men were not cell mates, according to Jail Administrator David Casanova.
Casanova said the rest of the jail’s inmates will remain on lockdown at least until the hole in the roof that the men created is repaired.
To further secure the jail, Casanova says officers have increased their walk-throughs and perimeter checks during their shifts.
“We are reviewing policies to better ourselves for the prevention of an additional attempt,” Casanova said.