WCF inmate 'improperly released'

Pedro Ordonez-Herrera

WESTVILLE – A convicted drug dealer who was mistakenly released from prison on Thursday was not free long, according to authorities.

At about 9:15 a.m. Thursday, Pedro Ordonez-Herrera was "improperly released" from the Westville Correctional Facility, according to a statement from the Indiana Department of Corrections.

He was taken back into custody just hours later.

According to a statement from Westville Police, Ordonez-Herrera "was released with the wrong group of people and ... had a hold placed on him from another agency. The mistake was discovered two hours later and it was determined that the inmate was in another county."

Ordonez-Herrera was an Elkhart resident at the time he was sentenced, so law enforcement in that area was notified.

"Once law enforcement agencies in Goshen were made aware of the incident they were able to take the inmate back into custody rather quickly," according to Westville Police.

Schools and businesses in town were not placed on lockdown "because of the delay in discovering the release and the fact that it was determined that the inmate was not in La Porte County," the statement said.

Ordonez-Herrera was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted in August 2010 of dealing in cocaine or a narcotic drug, according to IDOC. His scheduled release date was July 2029.

"The investigation is ongoing," IDOC spokesman David Bursten said. "As part of the investigation, we will review the release procedures to determine what corrective action to take to limit the opportunity for a similar occurrence."

Initial reports said Ordonez-Herrera had escaped and was suspected to be in a white Dodge truck and out of the La Porte County area.

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