Tung Nguyen Pleads Not Guilty to Giving Beer and Money to Jail Escapees

A 41-year-old Westminster man pleaded not guilty Monday to helping three inmates who escaped from the Orange County Jail in January.

Bac Duong, Hossein Nayeri and Joanthan Tieu went to Tung Nguyen’s home hours after breaking out and were given money and beer, the Orange County District Attorney’s office alleges.

At Nguyen’s arraignment Monday, he pleaded not guilty to a felony count of being an accessory after the fact. He was arrested Friday and is due back in court Wednesday.

The trio of arrestees awaiting trial on violent crimes cut through a steel grate and half-inch steel bars to reach plumbing tunnels that led to an unsecured part of the jail’s roof, where they used  makeshift ropes to rappel several floors to the ground and temporary freedom on Jan. 22.

It is believed a jailhouse riot was staged as the men were escaping.

Duong, 43, Nayeri, 37, and Tieu, 20, soon reached the home of Nguyen, who actually gave the money and beer for the three to to Duong, whom he knew before, the OCDA alleges.

After a trip with his fellow escapees to the Bay Area, Duong returned to Santa Ana and turned himself in. Tieu and Nayeri were captured in San Francisco. They have now been charged with various felonies to go with the ones each faced while originally in jail.

Nguyen is now one of them as his bail was set at $500,000 Monday.

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