Eagle Pass on high alert following prison break

Residents fear escapees may be crossing border

Author: Paul Venema
Published On: Sep 18 2012 08:19:55 PM CDT
Piedras Negras prison
EAGLE PASS, Texas -

Many residents of this border town expressed cautious concern when they learned that over 100 prisoners had escaped from a federal prison across the border in Mexico on Monday.

“People are locking their doors and being careful,” said Eagle Pass resident Luis Ruiz.

The police chief said that the city is on what he described as “high alert”.

“We have to kick up security a notch or two,” said Eagle Pass Police Chief Tony Castaneda. “87 of the 132 escapees were in federal prison there for narcotics trafficking and violent crimes.”

The border patrol and sheriff’s department, too, were on high alert according to Castaneda.

“They have been on alert since yesterday and the U.S. Border Patrol has put their air boats to use,” he said. They’re very attentive to the border.”

Castaneda said Mexican authorities have been keeping them informed concerning the break-out.

“Anytime that they feel that we are in eminent danger they let us know,” he said.

So far, other than heavy traffic on the International Bridge due to increased security things are fairly normal, according to the chief.

Castaneda said that there has been no word that the escapees are headed to Eagle Pass.

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