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Nevada prison break: Bomber caught after tip

LAS VEGAS –

US authorities say they are investigating how a convicted bomber was able to easily escape from a Nevada prison undetected for four days, before a tip led to his death He was arrested at a transit center in Las Vegas on Wednesday night as he was about to board a bus to go out. of the town.

State corrections officials did not realize until Tuesday that Porfirio Duarte-Herrera had escaped on September 23 from the medium-security prison where he was serving a life sentence for a deadly explosion. 2007 outside a resort in the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas police said they were notified Wednesday night that a person matching Duarte-Herrera’s description was in the area. Officers arrested the man, identified him as Duarte-Herrera, 42, and arrested him, the department said.

“Policies and procedures and all failures that occurred Friday and through Tuesday need to be addressed,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said at a news conference Thursday.

Lombardo, a Republican trying to oust Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak in the November election, said he was begging Sisolak to make good on his pledge to conduct a thorough investigation. to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“Infrastructural issues and staffing issues of the prison system, this individual’s ability – from what I was told – was as simple as he did, it was a concern. serious for me and the entire law enforcement community and the community as a whole,” he said.

Lombardo, the US Police Chief in Nevada and an FBI agent said it was the cooperation of many law enforcement agencies, the wide coverage of the media and finally a little tip from the public. led to his arrest.

“In this case, the individual had four days to start,” Lombardo said. “Fortunately, and unfortunately, he is still in the area and we were able to arrest him with the support of the public.”

Lombardo told reporters on Thursday that any information about the escape would have to come from the Department of Corrections, “and hopefully they will give you information about the circumstances of the escape soon.” When asked by a reporter if the DOC would be invited to a joint law enforcement press conference, Lombardo said yes.

Department officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

Sisolak ordered an investigation into the fugitive after he said late Tuesday his office had known Duarte-Herrera had been missing since the start of the week.

The governor’s office said in a statement emailed to the Associated Press on Thursday that he is working directly with Department of Corrections Director Charles Daniels “to ensure prompt action is taken to address the action.” vi leads to the escape.”

“Failure to follow a process or procedure cannot be tolerated when public safety is at stake,” said Meghin Delaney, his communications director.

Correctional facilities across the country are facing staffing shortages, and the NDOC is looking at innovative ways to increase hiring at all facilities in the state, she wrote.

Officials didn’t realize until Tuesday morning that he was missing during a head check at the Southern Desert Correctional Center near Las Vegas.

Neither Lombardo nor Sisolak commented on a KLAS-TV report citing unnamed sources that Duarte-Herrera used acid to erode the protective area of ​​his cell’s window so he could climb out. That report also states that he made a cardboard dummy to put in his cell, and sewed a prison classroom jacket, which he brought with him after his prison break. Officials are investigating whether he had an accomplice.

Lombardo said he spoke with the inspector general’s office at the Bureau of Corrections, “and I am confident that they will go into this matter and use resources to prevent it from happening in the future.”

Duarte-Herrera, from Nicaragua, was convicted in 2010 of killing a hot dog vendor using a motion-activated bomb in a coffee cup atop a car parked at a casino-guest Luxor hotel.

Records show that his co-defendant, Omar Rueda-Denvers, remains in custody. The 47-year-old man from Guatemala is serving a life sentence at another Nevada prison for murder, attempted murder, explosives and other charges.

A Clark County Court jury acquitted both of them from the death penalty in the murder of Willebaldo Dorantes Antonio, whom prosecutors identified as Rueda-Denvers’ ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend.

Prosecutors said jealousy was the motive for the attack on the top deck of a two-story parking structure. The explosion initially raised fears of a terrorist attack on the Strip.

Gary Schofield, US Chief of Police in Nevada, said authorities are continuing to investigate where Duarte-Herrera is and what he did between his escape and when someone released him near the transit center. .

“He can make a little money and a little transportation just from that particular area. … Mostly he’s just being modest and trying to avoid the public, and trying to avoid realism. law enforcement,” he said.

Schofield said state corrections officials initially notified the Los Angeles-based US Marshals Service regional task force, which notified his office of the crossing. prison on Tuesday afternoon.

“It was the first time any authorities in Nevada knew of what was happening at the prison,” he said.

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