Dangerous Mexican fugitives believed to be headed for U.S. border
10:24 PM Mountain Standard Time on Saturday, March 19, 2005
By LUPITA MURILLO / Eyewitness News 4
Authorities are conducting a massive manhunt along the Arizona-Mexico border for six inmates that escaped from a maximum-security prison in Nogales, Sonora.
According to police, the inmates overpowered four guards Friday afternoon and took their weapons and hand-held police radio. They are believed to be armed and dangerous and heading toward the United States.
The men are Benjamin Sanchez Soto, who was in prison for murdering two police officers, Cesar Ignacio Diaz Suarez of Arizona, who was jailed for drug trafficking, Rene Ozuna Huicoso, another drug trafficker, Lorenzo Perez Lugo, imprisoned for kidnapping, Hector Gomez Sandoval, who was in prison for bank robbery and Luis Fernando Carlos Valenzuela. It was unclear why Valenzuela was in prison as of Saturday night.
After escaping Friday, the fugitives went on a violent crime spree with violations including bank robbery, assault and carjacking, said Lt. Raul Rodriguez of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department.
The escapees are also accused of running over the husband of a U.S. diplomat in the exclusive Colonia Kennedy neighborhood.
The fugitives last known vehicle was found abandoned on a heavily-traveled highway that leads through the Mariposa Canyon and into the United States, Rodriguez said.
Police believe the fugitives may have split up. They advise Arizonans not to confront the men if you come across them.