Taos detainee charged with tunneling through jail wall

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 8/20/19

Authorities say a detainee at the Taos County jail who was charged in connection to several burglaries in 2018 has been slowly chiseling through his cell wall in an apparent attempt to escape.

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Taos detainee charged with tunneling through jail wall

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Authorities say a detainee at the Taos County jail charged in connection to several burglaries in 2018 has been slowly chiseling through his cell wall in an apparent attempt to escape.

Officers at the jail on Aug. 11 found several holes that had been carved into the eastern wall of Carl Gage’s cell. They also found nine metal picks they believe Gage had been using to create a hole large enough to crawl through to a fenced corridor that surrounds the jail. The makeshift tools, authorities say, could have also been used as weapons.

While Marvin Armijo, the Taos County Sheriff’s detective assigned to the case, considered that the holes could have been used to deliver drugs into the facility, their size and number convinced him that Gage had hoped to “remove a section of material large enough for a person to pass through.”

After consulting with the 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the sheriff’s office obtained an arrest warrant for Gage, charging him with attempted escape by an inmate, a fourth-degree felony; possession of dangerous weapons by an inmate, a second-degree felony; and tampering with evidence of a crime, a third-degree felony.

Gage was first arrested, charged and incarcerated at the jail on Feb. 23 in connection to six commercial burglaries around Taos, which for months in 2018 had mystified law enforcement.

Detectives at Taos Police Department worked with members of the sheriff’s office to link Gage to surveillance footage and a cellphone number they believe he was calling from to communicate with an accomplice during each burglary. At least two anonymous tipsters also came forward after stills of the surveillance footage were made public, telling law enforcement that the suspect caught on camera appeared to be Gage.

Since he was locked up, authorities have filed three other felony cases against Gage for burglaries in 2018 at Enchanted Circle Brewing in Angel Fire, Bull O’ the Woods Saloon in Red River and Bailey’s Chimney in El Prado.

Court records show that Gage, 46, began his criminal career as a teenager in his home state of Alaska, where he also has a pending extradition warrant for  absconding while on parole for multiple burglary convictions.

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