Rocky Marquez, 34, was on the streets for five days before anyone realized he had switched identification wristbands with another man who was set for release Jan 20.
"Marquez has a big head start on us, but we're doing a national manhunt for him and hopefully we can locate him again," U.S. Marshal David Gonzalez told ABC News.
It was not the first time Marquez had successfully broken out of jail. He had been locked up at the Wayne County Jail while awaiting extradition to face charges that included escaping from a Phoenix lockup last year.
"He obviously has a penchant for getting out of jail and wanting to stay out of jail, but we hope we can put an end to that run here soon," Gonzalez said.
WXYZ-TV, Detroit, said Marquez was able to escape the Phoenix jail by having someone pay the bond of another inmate and then use that individual's wrist band to walk out the door.
Police said Marquez faced drug and traffic charges in Arizona and had an assault weapon handy when he was picked up in Detroit Jan. 15. Officials said he also had ties to Florida, California and Mexico as well as Michigan and Arizona.