DONA ANA COUNTY DETENTION CENTER FOILS INMATE ESCAPE ATTEMPT

DONA ANA COUNTY DETENTION CENTER FOILS INMATE ESCAPE ATTEMPT

Four inmates of the Dona Ana County Detention Center were thwarted in an alleged escape plan Saturday morning, Aug. 15, 1998.
The inmates initially approached a detention center guard on Friday, Aug. 14, 1998 and offered him $10,000 and a pick-up truck if he would assist in their escape attempt. The officer reported the incident to his supervisors. The U.S. Marshal’s Office also was notified, since two of the prisoners in question are federal detainees.
Since the prisoners had indicated to the detention center guard that other people outside the detention center would be involved, the decision was made to follow through and apprehend other conspirators.
At 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, 1998, a female, identified as a friend of the inmates, contacted the detention center guard and delivered to him a pick-up truck with the promise of cash later. At the time of the transaction, officers from the Marshal’s Office moved in and arrested the female suspect.
Once the arrest was made, the detention center – including the B4-Pod, where the four inmate conspirators were housed – was locked down by Detention Center staff and Dona Ana County Sheriff’s deputies. During the lock down, one prisoner became unruly and was subdued with pepper spray and a police dog. That prisoner was apparently not one of the conspirators.
The U.S. Marshal’s Office has the names of other individuals involved in the alleged conspiracy and expects to make further arrests. In all, five inmates have been placed in isolation in the aftermath of the incident. The U.S. Marshal’s Office does not plan to release names of the individuals involved until the investigation is nearer to completion. All individuals suspected to have been involved in the alleged conspiracy will be charged in federal court.
Detention Center Administrator Frank Steele cited his staff’s professionalism and integrity, as well as the cooperation of the U.S. Marshal’s Office and Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Department, in making sure that the escape attempt was unsuccessful and that the situation was handled with as little disruption to the detention center as possible.
County Manager Fernando Macias reiterated Steele’s statement and added that the incident should serve as a reminder in the detention center and the community at large that issues pertaining to inmate security will continue to receive utmost consideration and that individuals who attempt to thwart the system will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.