News

Actions

AGAIN! Phoenix PD mistake frees felony suspects

Posted at 2:58 PM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-14 07:57:32-04

The Phoenix Police Department again failed to file paperwork on time after two women were arrested on felony charges.

The record-keeping mistake forced Maricopa County jail staff to release the suspects without charges.

Andrea Rios and Rosanna Alva were booked into county jail March 30 on charges of armed robbery with a deadly weapon. They were released days later.  

A police spokesman acknowledged the suspects’ releases on Wednesday and said the department plans to conduct an analysis to figure out what happened.

ABC15 discovered this is the second felony case in a one-week period that this has happened because of issues with their new record management system, which was launched in October.  

Specific details about what led to Rios’ and Alva’s initial arrest were not available.

But last week, ABC15 uncovered another case involving a violent felon who walked out of county jail and was free for 10 days because paperwork wasn’t filed on time.

The suspect in the other case was 20-year-old Jose Daniel Morales, whose criminal history includes multiple felonies and a previous armed robbery.

Morales was arrested after he and two accomplices were involved in the March 24 armed robbery of a west Phoenix food truck, records show. After the robbery, the suspects crashed their getaway vehicle into another car.

The driver of the other car was seriously injured. The crash broke her neck, records show.

Morales was re-arrested April 11 after a prosecutors had to go back and get a grand jury indictment, records show. He now faces 11 felony charges, including armed robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Sources told ABC15 the necessary paperwork for Morales was filed but not properly routed in the Phoenix Police Department’s new record management system. The mix-up mean prosecutors weren’t forwarded the case and couldn’t file official charges before the required deadline after a suspect’s initial appearance.

Phoenix Police officials said the circumstances that led to the release of all three suspects is similar. A spokesman said they are not aware of any more suspects who have been released because of paperwork delays.

But multiple sources tell ABC15 there have been many since the system was launched, including other violent felony crimes. One source said the three releases is the “tip of the iceberg.”

Phoenix Police said their analysis of what happened in these three releases will not be expanded to determine how many other suspects may have been released.

After a complete overhaul, Phoenix Police launched a new record management system, or RMS, in October.  Since, the department has experienced a list of problems: backlogs, other released suspects, outages, and more missing reports.

In December, ABC15 uncovered that 1,600 incident reports were never properly routed, leaving them to essentially float in the system for weeks.

RELATED: Phoenix PD submitting fewer felony cases to county prosecutors

Other major police departments who have installed the same RMS have reported issues with reports that have gone missing.

Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at dbiscobing@abc15.com.