A California contractor license plate may have helped a former federal agent escape from prison and evade arrest, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
The plates are listed in the state’s criminal records system, which the bureau used to track the agent’s whereabouts.
The agent, Jose Luis Sanchez, was sentenced to nearly three years in prison for stealing a military radar system in 2009.
He was released in 2016.
Sanchez’s license plate was used by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other federal agencies, the documents show.
In one instance, the agency used Sanchez’s plate to track Sanchez’s whereabouts during a raid on a house that investigators believed was used as a drug lab.
It was not known whether Sanchez’s registration was updated after his release from prison.
He is now serving a life sentence.
His license plate is currently listed as inactive, which means the bureau has not issued it.
A law enforcement agency is required to provide a license plate to law enforcement agencies upon request, as well as federal agencies and private individuals, such as individuals working on federal projects or those on probation or parole.
The bureau does not have to release it.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles declined to comment on the records request.
The Washington Bureau of Investigation, which investigates vehicle theft and is one of the agencies to have a license to the plates, also declined to discuss the plates.
A spokeswoman for the agency, Jennifer Stokes, said it did not comment on ongoing investigations.