NORTH HOLLYWOOD – A man who walked away from the Male Community Reentry Program (MCRP) in Los Angeles on Jan. 12 was apprehended Sunday, Jan. 14.

At around 10:50 a.m., special agents from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Office of Correctional Safety (OCS) apprehended Joshua Cortez, 30, at a residence on the 8200 block of Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood. Agents who had been surveilling the home of discharged parolee Robert Romero, a known associate of Cortez, observed Cortez exit Romero’s residence and begin walking up the street. Cortez was taken into custody without incident and transported to California Institution for Men in Chino.

Officials were notified around 10:10 a.m. Jan. 12 that Cortez’s GPS device had been tampered with. His last known location was near the metro station in North Hollywood. Notification was immediately made to local law enforcement agencies and OCS agents were dispatched to locate and apprehend Cortez.

Cortez was received by CDCR from Los Angeles County on Nov. 5, 2013, with a two-year sentence for first-degree burglary. He had been participating in MCRP since October 2017. He was scheduled to be released in September 2018 but his case will now be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of prosecution on escape charges.

Romero, 39, was received by CDCR from Los Angeles County on Sept. 15, 2009, to serve a two-year sentence for assault with a deadly weapon. He paroled in September 2010 and discharged from his sentence on Jan. 5, 2014. The facts of this case will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of harboring charges against Romero.

MCRP allows eligible offenders committed to state prison to serve the end of their sentences in the reentry center and provides them the programs and tools necessary to transition from custody to the community. It is a voluntary program for male offenders who have approximately one year left to serve. The program links offenders to a range of community-based rehabilitative services that assist with substance use disorders, mental health care, medical care, employment, education, housing, family reunification and social support.

The Office of Correctional Safety mission is to protect the public and serve CDCR investigative and security interests. OCS is the primary departmental link with allied law enforcement agencies and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

Since 1977, 99 percent of all offenders who have left an adult institution, camp or community-based program without permission have been apprehended.956-6160

CONTACT: Krissi Khokhobashvili, (916)

Joshua Cortez

Romero, Robert Aa6197 Photo

Robert Romero