A man convicted in 2008 of three sex crimes was located in Mexico and arrested. The man absconded officials in Utah and fled to Mexico after a jury found him guilty. He was sentenced in absentia.
On July 29, 2007, Lehi Police investigated a report that Santos Ismael Hinojos, age 43 at that time, had been sexually abusing an 8-9 year old girl for several years. As a result of the Lehi Police investigation Hinojos was arrested on August 7, 2007, for three 1st Degree Felony counts of Sodomy On A Child. On August 10, 2007 Hinojos paid $500.00 to post a $5,000.00 bond.
On February 20, 2008, a jury found Hinojos guilty on three counts of Sodomy On A Child. Santos was allowed to remain free on bond after having been found guilty. On April 21, 2008, Santos failed to appear for his sentencing. He also failed to appear for sentencing on May 5, 2008. At the second sentencing hearing Hinojos was sentenced in absentia to 5 years to life in prison on each of the counts. Counts 1 and 2 were to run consecutive with Count 3 to run concurrent.
Hinojos remained a fugitive until 2013 when Lehi Police asked for assistance from Joint Criminal Apprehension Team (JCAT) in locating him and returning him to Utah. Hinojos was added to the Utah County Most Wanted list.
JCAT Officers with the Utah County Sheriff's Office and the United States Marshal's Service conducted an extensive investigation in an effort to locate Hinojos. While Hinojos' family would not cooperate with investigators they continued to work with authorities in Mexico. At around this time Baja California, Mexico, State Police received an anonymous tip that he was living there. After verifying this information Mexican authorities, working with the Marshal's Service and the Utah County Sheriff's Office arrested Hinojos on January 22, 2014 in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
On January 23 Hinojos was returned to the United States and was turned over to the custody of the United States Marshal's Service. On February 3 Hinojos was returned to Utah and was booked into the Utah County Jail early on the morning of February 4. Hinojos was taken to the Utah State Prison on February 6, 2014, to begin serving his three 5 years to life sentences.
From the beginning of this case many different agencies worked together, with Lehi Police Department, to the end, with the cooperation of the United States Marshal's Service, Utah County Sheriff's Office, and Baja California Mexico Police. Hinojos, now age 49, is expected to serve many years in prison.
For questions contact Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer, Utah County Sheriff's Office. (801)404-1912