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Escondido man sentenced to prison following 12 arrests over two-year span

arresthaul (1).jpg
Escondido Police Department
Illegal drugs, cash, and a "ghost gun" seized from Craig Blas after police arrested him on May 7, 2022.

An ex-con arrested earlier this year in Escondido for fleeing from officers, as well as possessing guns and drugs, was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in state prison, capping off a two-year stretch in which the man was arrested a dozen times.

Craig Blas, 32, was arrested in May, when he was found with two loaded guns, fentanyl pills and methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty to several felony counts about two weeks later.

Escondido police said that after Blas was released from prison in 2019 following a sentence related to drug and gun charges, he was arrested and released repeatedly over the next two years, including for evading officers, drug possession and weapons possession.

In a statement, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan characterized Blas' numerous releases from custody as an example of "loopholes and deficiencies in the law." The DA's Office said the releases stemmed from changes to state law that led to sentence reductions for some defendants, as well as the emergency bail schedule instituted in order to reduce the jail population during the COVID-19 pandemic.