EL PASO – A prisoner who escaped from a private security van in Las Cruces after holding guards at gunpoint was captured in El Paso 10 hours later.
Ralph Miera was able “to obtain a gun and handcuff key” from inside the Security Transport Services van according to New Mexico State Police.
“During a break on the side of the road near Elephant Butte, Miera brandished the firearm at the guards,” according to a news release issued Wednesday night by state police.
The 40- year-old prisoner ordered one of the guards into the “cage area of the van” and forced the other guard to drive, according to the Las Cruces Police Department.
Miera got out of the transport van near N. Main Street and Elks Drive, stole a red pickup truck from a home in Las Cruces around midnight and drove to El Paso. Police officers in El Paso captured him just after 10 a.m. during a traffic stop and took Miera into custody without incident Wednesday. The manhunt for the escaped prisoner included New Mexico State Police, Las Cruces Police, El Paso Police, the U.S. Marshalls Service and Border Patrol.
Miera was wearing a red shirt, black-and-green plaid pants and black Nike shoes according to the news release issued after he got away from the guards.
New Mexico State Police are investigating the circumstances that led to the escape.
The guards were transporting Miera from Riverside, Calif., to Pueblo County Colorado on a warrant for auto theft, burglary and contempt of court. He now faces 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.