Pasco County man solves mystery of his accidental release from jail, turns himself in

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Miguel Angel Perez was walking around Tampa, a free man, but he should not have been.

For the last 37 months, Perez has been locked up in the Pasco County jail for charges of mortgage fraud, grand theft, and racketeering.

His bond was so high he could not afford to get out so imagine his surprise when he was told by jail officials to pack up his stuff. He was free to go.

"I'm looking for the answer, 'Why am I out because the bond wasn't supposed to happen yet?'" said Perez. "I believe it's a mistake."

It was a mistake. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office confused Perez with his son, who is also named Miguel Angel Perez. His son is charged with fraud, but is also facing unrelated charges.

Recently Perez's son took a plea deal on a sex crime charge and was sentenced to time served on the racketeering charges. 

Miguel finally put it all together after a little research.

"I started looking online and that's when I saw, no, I wasn't released. My son was released" said Perez. 

Pasco County Sheriff Major Stacey Jenkins says the mix up happened after the judge's paperwork was sent to the clerk's office.

"The order was inadvertently put on the father, versus the son, as being time served," said Jenkins.

But Pasco County Clerk Nikki Alvarez-Sowles made it clear to FOX 13 News, the error didn't happen on their end.

"Mr. Perez's erroneous release was in no way the result of actions performed by the Pasco County Clerk & Comptroller's Office," said Alvarez-Sowles.

The sheriff's office said inmates accidentally being released is a rare occurrence, but just one slip up is too many.

"This is an error that should not have occurred in our facility. We do have procedures in place," said Jenkins. 

Miguel Perez turned himself at to the Pasco County jail recently, but before he did that, he wanted the courts to know - this proves he is not a flight risk.

"People are telling me, 'You're crazy. Why would you turn yourself in?' and I simply said, 'I'm innocent,'" said Perez.