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Fugitive Charged With Poisoning Inmates at Ada County Jail Back Behind Bars

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Rocio Contreras-Loya, 41, is charged with felony counts of poisoning and being a fugitive from justice. - ADA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Ada County Sheriff's Office
  • Rocio Contreras-Loya, 41, is charged with felony counts of poisoning and being a fugitive from justice.


A California woman is back behind bars at the Ada County Jail, charged with trying to poison fellow inmates during a previous stint at the jailhouse.

Rocio Contreras-Loya, 41, of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., was arrested July 2014 on charges of burglary and grand theft. Those charges were ultimately dismissed by an Ada County magistrate judge, but before she left the Ada County Jail, she allegedly put cleaning powder in a bag of coffee—two inmates drank that coffee in November 2014—and investigators traced the cleaning powder back to Contreras-Loya who was on cleaning detail. She denied the claim, but prosecutors say video from the jail shows that just prior to the poisoning, Contreras-Loya went through a trash bin where the powder was.

According to an April 2015 press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Contreras-Loya was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. She was ordered to serve three years of supervised release, to pay $15,443.80 in restitution and to forfeit $26,777.13 in cash proceeds of the charged offenses. The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Boise Police Department. 

In June 2015, an arrest warrant was issued for Contreras-Loya on the poisoning charge and on May 18, she was transported back to Idaho after being arrested in Vale, Ore. She is now charged with felony counts of poisoning and being a fugitive from justice. 

Contreras-Loya's court hearing is set for Wednesday, June 22. Until then, she is being held on a $10,000 bond.