Inmate mistakenly released in Lubbock, caught in New Mexico

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – An inmate mistakenly released from a West Texas jail has been caught in New Mexico after days on the run and a stop in Las Vegas.

Jail records show Ernest Ray Zavala was back at the Lubbock County Detention Center on Monday. He was wrongly freed June 23. The clerical error was discovered Friday.

The U.S. Marshals Service says Zavala was captured Sunday at a motel in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Zavala in early June was sentenced to 235 months in federal prison. He was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and as a career criminal.

A Texas parole violation charge was dropped. A clerical error on that point led to his release.

Authorities believe Zavala visited Las Vegas and Arizona before his capture in New Mexico. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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