DENVER (KDVR) — Two Denver Police Department deputies have been disciplined following an inmate’s escape.
Deputy Zabair Cheema and Deputy Phillip Weingart both received two-day suspensions, beginning Aug. 26.
It’s been exactly one year since Jerrol Jones escaped from the Denver Detention Center by simply walking out the front door.
The 31-year-old has yet to be captured after using false information and a face mask to engineer his release.
The Denver Sheriff’s Department said Jones “manipulated the release system” by posing as an inmate soon to be released, and escaped around 1 p.m., July 26, 2020.
The Problem Solvers first reported a year ago that the sheriff’s fingerprint system known as Mobile Morpho Print, wasn’t working at the time Jones tricked deputies into releasing him.
In addition, no deputy asked Jones to lower his face mask, something all inmates were wearing at the time because of the COVID pandemic.
Instead, Jones pretended to be 22-year-old Donne Allen, an inmate who was due to be released that day.
According to an arrest warrant obtained by the Problem Solvers, Allen had just “returned from court and was set to be released on a personal recognizance bond. The Denver Sheriff staff entered the pod area, where Jerrol and Allen were being housed, and called for Donne Allen. Jerrol Jones replied/answered and identified himself as Donne Allen. Jerrol Jones was able to obtain Donne Allen’s DDC issued identity wristband and was also able to confirm Donne Allen’s full name, date of birth, location of arrest, and reason for arrest. Jerrol Jones was then released from the DDC under the name and information of Donne Allen.”
Allen was released on the same day as Jones but didn’t enjoy his freedom for long. He was rearrested the next day on suspicion of stealing a car and possessing someone else’s identity.
Denver Police say Allen stole a car from a local Wendy’s after the driver left the car unlocked with the key inside.
Jones was being held on two probation violations, along with weapons charges on the day he made his escape.
The day after Jones escaped, the sheriff’s department implemented a new procedure for deputies to have inmates “briefly remove his/her mask to view the inmate’s face and to cross reference” with the inmate’s booking photo.
In addition, the department now says a second program is used to identify fingerprints if the Morpho Print system is not working properly.
A year later, Jones’ whereabouts remains unknown but there is an active warrant for his arrest on the charge of escape from custody.