SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on investigations and fallout from the escape of two violent felons in New Mexico (all times local):
The New Mexico Department of Corrections is inviting a team of outside law enforcement and prison experts to review what went wrong in the recent escape of two violent felons from a transport van.
Agency spokeswoman Rose Bobchak said Friday that initial input from the group suggests the escape is linked to failures to adhere to existing protocols, and to a lesser extent with existing policies and controls.
The Corrections Department says its review will look at possible security breakdowns extending from corrections guards to top prison administrators.
State Police have not concluded a criminal investigation into the escape and say more arrests are possible.
A corrections union representative says the state of New Mexico plans to fire two guards who were in charge of a transport van when two violent felons escaped.
AFSCME union spokesman Miles Conway said Friday the two corrections officers received notices of contemplated action for termination from the state Corrections Department. The notices are the first step in the administrative process for firing an employee based on performance of work duties.
State officials have declined to state how the shackled inmates slipped by transport officers Taracina Morgan and Michael Ortega during a fuel stop March 9 along a remote New Mexico highway. The escape went undetected for hours before the transport van arrived in Las Cruces.
Authorities re-apprehended inmates Joseph Cruz and Lionel Clah on March 11 and 12.