CALDWELL -- For the fifth time in less than a year, inmates have escaped from the Canyon County Jail's tent facility.
Officials say the escape initially happened around 10:10 a.m. when the inmates were at outdoor recreation, which has no roof.
One of them, Ian Benoit, was taken into custody after a brief struggle with a day assigned to observe the recreation area. He suffered a lower leg injury when he went over the fence and tried to flee.
The second inmate, Brandon James Luna, 27, was located at a house across the street from the jail just after noon.
According to Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue, Luna was hiding in a crawl space under the house. Officers sent in a police dog after he refused to come out and surrender, and Luna was bit several times, the sheriff said.
Luna was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of the dog bites.
Donahue says he wants some sort of covering for the area, but those changes have not been made, something the sheriff addressed today.
“This simply in my opinion needs to stop, but I can only as a sheriff, we can only operate the facilities that are provided to us and for us by the board of county commissioners in those counties," said Donahue.
According to the jail roster, Luna was held in the jail on charges of cruelty to animals, driving without privileges, carrying a concealed weapon, no insurance and drug charges.
Benoit was in custody on felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
The repeated escapes have touched off a heated debate among Canyon County officials. Donahue says the jail is using a canvas tent to house inmates due to overcrowding issues, and blames county commissioners for refusing to greenlight a jail expansion or allocate more money for security improvements.
Some commissioners, on the other hand, have said that Donahue needs to use the resources already available to him to halt escapes.
Both sides agree that the tent facility should not be used to hold inmates, especially felons like Luna.
Court documents show Luna was sentenced to ten years in prison in 2009 for felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. According to the Idaho Department of Correction, he was released Dec. 22, 2013 after serving four years of that sentence.
Today's escape comes exactly one month after two men climbed over the jail fence and ran away. They were recaptured a few days later.
Jeffrey Duvall and Juan Cervantes were recaptured at the home of Cervantes' girlfriend a few days later.
Abel Garcia, who was held in the jail on burglary and weapons charges, escaped from the jail tent in August. Jose Coronado, a Mexican national facing deportation after his arrest for violating a no-contact order, used a razor to cut through the tent wall in August, and spent more than a week on the lam. Jesus Cuevas climbed over a security fence during recreation time in December 2015.
All the previous escapees were also recaptured.
Originally built to house work-release inmates, the tent facility became a holding place for minimum-security inmates around 2010.
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