Deadly gang battle spurs nationwide federal prison system lockdown

WASHINGTON — The federal prison system went into nationwide receivership on Monday after a gang brawl at a high-security penitentiary in...


WASHINGTON — The federal prison system went into nationwide receivership on Monday after a gang brawl at a high-security penitentiary in Beaumont, Texas, left two people dead, the Bureau of Prisons said in a statement. .

While deadly fighting erupts with some regularity in federal penitentiaries, the bureau rarely closes its 120 facilities in response.

“With great caution, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is securing our facilities as a temporary measure to ensure the good order of our facilities,” Bureau spokeswoman Kristie Breshears said in a statement. “We expect this security measure to be short-lived.”

Ms Breshears said the office would monitor events at its facilities and adjust its operations as the situation developed, but declined to give further details for safety and security reasons.

The containment was reported earlier by the Associated Press.

Several inmates at Beaumont Prison began a violent altercation around 11:30 a.m. Monday morning, and four people were taken to hospital for treatment, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

Two of those detainees – Guillermo Riojas, 54, sentenced to 38 years in prison for carjacking and interfering with interstate commerce, and Andrew Pineda, 34, sentenced to six and a half years for racketeering – were pronounced dead by hospital staff members, the office said.

No staff or other inmates were injured in the altercation at Beaumont, a high-security prison that houses 1,372 male inmates. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was called to investigate.

Officials feared the deadly fight, which included members of the violent Salvadoran street gang MS-13would spark violence at other facilities, according to a person briefed on the office’s decision, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Authorities began locking down all federal prisons on Monday afternoon, meaning inmates were generally confined to their cells.

While the bureau’s unusually harsh response indicates the fight was unique in its potential to create ripple effects, the violence was also consistent with the unrest that has long plagued the Bureau of Prisons.

This year alone, the office has announced four inmate deaths and three escapes, as it continues to grapple with staffing shortages, health issues stemming from Covid-19, violence, mismanagement and staff misconduct. employees.

This month, Michael Carvajalwho was appointed head of the Bureau of Prisons in February 2020, said he planned to resign. Mr Carvajal has agreed to stay on until a successor is in place.

The AP reported in November that more than 100 office workers had been arrested and convicted or convicted of crimes over the past three years, prompting Senator Richard J. Durbin, an Illinois Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to request the resignation of Mr. Carvajal.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Deadly gang battle spurs nationwide federal prison system lockdown
Deadly gang battle spurs nationwide federal prison system lockdown
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