Captured fugitive Ralph Miera
LAS CRUCES – Around midnight Oct. 24, guards from prisoner transport company Security Transport Services, alerted the Las Cruces Police Department that they had a prisoner escape in Las Cruces around the Lowe’s/CVS at Main and Elks.
Ralph Miera, 40, was being transported from Riverside California to Pueblo County in Colorado for charges of auto theft, burglary, discharge of a firearm and contempt of court.
Captured fugitive Ralph Miera’s tatooed torso. Courtesy/NMSP
At some point during the transport, which is still under investigation, Miera was able to obtain a gun and handcuff key from inside the transport vehicle. Then during a break on the side of the road near Elephant Butte, Miera brandished the firearm at the guards.
Miera then placed one of the guards in the transport cage and ordered the other guard to drive at gun point. The initial investigation indicated that Miera had the guard drive him to Las Cruces where he exited the transport van on foot at Main Street between Elks and the Century 21 Motel.
The investigation indicated that Miera then stole a red truck from the area. A manhunt was launched involving the New Mexico State Police, Las Cruces Police Department, El Paso Police Department, United States Marshalls Service, United States Border Patrol, New Mexico National Guard and Texas Rangers.
Around 10:10 a.m., officers with the El Paso Police Department located Miera driving the stolen red truck and conducted a traffic stop. Miera was taken into custody without incident.
Miera was arrested on an outstanding vehicle theft warrant out of Pueblo, Colo. The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau is investigating the escape and Miera will face additional charges including kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon, interference with communications and larceny of a firearm.
The Las Cruces and El Paso Police Departments are investigating the stolen red truck Miera used to escape. For charges relating to this crime, contact the Las Cruces and El Paso Police Departments. This investigation is still on going with no additional information available.