Mexico prisoners in mass jail break near US border

Nuevo Laredo

BBC News, 12/18/2010

The prisoners broke out of the jail in Nuevo Laredo late on Thursday or early on Friday morning. Security guards are being questioned on suspicion of helping the inmates flee, and prison director has gone missing.

Mexico’s prison system is struggling to cope with an influx of violent offenders arrested in the government’s campaign against drugs cartels.

Nuevo Laredo in Tamaulipas state lies just across the border from Laredo, Texas. Tamaulipas security chief Antonio Garza said the break-out – one of the largest in the country’s history – went unnoticed until guards carried out a routine head count.

Officials believe the inmates had escaped through one of the prison’s back gates, with the connivance of one or more security guards.

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Sentences in Houston for gun traffickers

Houston Chronicle, 1/20/10

Four convicted weapons traffickers in the Houston area are going to prison for the purchase of guns linked to Mexican drug cartels.

Court documents indicate the cash purchase of at least 328 guns benefited Mexico’s Gulf Cartel.

Four men were sentenced Tuesday over their guilty pleas to lying on a federal form by stating the guns were for their own use. Each received prison terms of a year or less.

Prosecutors say the guns turned up at a range of crime scenes, including the murder of police officers in Acapulco and the kidnapping of a Puebla businessman.

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U.S. to Expand Immigration Checks to All Local Jails

Washington Post, 5/19/2009

obama1The Obama administration is expanding a program initiated by President George W. Bush aimed at checking the immigration status of virtually every person booked into local jails. In four years, the measure could result in a tenfold increase in illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes and identified for deportation, current and former U.S. officials said.

By matching inmates’ fingerprints to federal immigration databases, authorities hope to pinpoint deportable illegal immigrants before they are released from custody.

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Mexico drug gang’s rescue foiled

BBC, 4/19/2009

Eight officers have been killed during a bold ambush on a Mexican prison convoy carrying drug cartel suspects, the authorities say.

Gunmen failed in their bid to free the prisoners – who included senior members of the Beltran Leyva cartel – and escaped in three trucks, say officials.

The brazen attack came as police drove with the nine detainees to a jail in the western state of Nayarit.

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