Man serving time for drug trafficking is third of the summer


Another inmate walked away from the minimum security satellite camp at the Taft Correctional Institution.

Fernando Mendoza, 34, who was serving as nine-year sentence for possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, was missing when prison staff conducted a prisoner count Friday at 4:31 p.m., TCI spokesman Dale Patrick said.

Mendoza arrived at the camp on April 10 of this year and was scheduled to be released in October 2020.

Mendoza is a 34-year-old white male of Hispanic origin.
He is 5’9” tall, and weighs approximately 220 lbs. He has brown hair, and brown eyes, and scars on his left leg, left arm and stomach.

There is no record of any aliases used by Fernando Mendoza and there is no employment information available prior to his incarceration.

Mendoza is the third inmate to walk away from the camp at TCI this summer.

Two more escapes were reported in July.

The Satellite Camp is a minimum-security facility that houses approximately 550 federal inmates. There is no security fence around the facility, which is common for a minimum-security facility within the federal prison system.

Taft Correctional Institution immediately contacted all appropriate law enforcement agencies including the Taft Police Department, Bakersfield Police Department, Kern County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Prisons, and United States Marshals Service.

If anyone suspects they have seen this individual or obtains information as to his location, please contact any law enforcement agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the United States Marshals Service.