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La Tuna FCI, New Mexico (Texas)

    On Tuesday, November 22, 2005, a group of approximately two dozen U.S. citizen-inmates were attacked by over 200 alien inmates at Federal Correctional Institution ("FCI") La Tuna of Anthony, New Mexico.  According to first-hand accounts from La Tuna's South Patio that evening, the attacking aliens were gang-affiliated, and mob armorers distributed weapons like broom handles and rocks as the ambush uncoiled.  An FCI La Tuna Lieutenant entered the South Patio and ordered the attackers to stand down, according to these first hand reporters, but, when the hundreds of attacking inmates refused to comply and instead approached, the Lieutenant reportedly withdrew (the wisest "institutional security" choice) and locked the Patio door behind him.  Inmate eyewitnesses report that Lieutenant was one of three guards overseeing La Tuna's 1,300-odd inmates at that moment, though BOP's South-Central Regional Director Gerardo Maldonado, Junior, has rejected that claim after reportedly reviewing the records we seek here, in a letter dated March 24, 2006, to United States Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) (letter currently withheld for privilege reasons).

    Those two dozen citizen-inmates were rescued many minutes later, several suffering grave wounds.  Three men, whose identities are known to the Requestor but are here withheld for fear of retaliation, were transported to local hospitals, including one via Medi-Vac helicopter; SCRO Director Maldonado also disputes this information in his letter to Senator Bingaman by stating that "only one inmate required medical attention in a community hospital."  Local, limited Anthony Police Department was called to secure La Tuna's perimeter, according to local media reports, while staff and administrators quelled the violence.  Other terribly injured men remained at La Tuna without medical care, including the reportedly dislocated or broken jaw suffered by the frenzy's worst victim.  Other inmate reports allege that sutures were later removed as the inmates stood in a line, the same pair of unsterilized scissors used on each man, that correctional officer approaching without even wearing surgical gloves.

    According to La Tuna spokesman Israel Jacquez, however, there were only several minor injuries, and "Officials" reported the violence to be fight between a few inmates during prisoner movement.  According to several citizen inmates nearly killed in that ambush, however, the ten-to-one odds were anything but a minor brawl.

    Importantly, this is not the first gang-related violence against citizen-inmates at La Tuna, nor is it the first time La Tuna's "Officials" have simply refused any further comment and, so, have also forbidden from the public the very information we need to test the BOP's unverified conclusions that nothing is wrong.  With gang incidents occurring in September and November 2005, and with inmates reporting even larger-scale violence looming at La Tuna in 2006, this author filed FOIA requests on December 1 and 14, 2005, then again on March 30, 2006.  Notwithstanding the FOIA requirements for response within ten days (as regards a request for "Expedited Process"), the BOP finally offered its first two responses in separate letters postmarked (not dated) January 31 (to the 12/1 Request, No. 2006-02285) and February 10 (to the 12/14 Request, No. 2006-02289).  Those conclusory denials have been appealed to the Department of Justice, Office of Information and Privacy ("OIP"). 

    Like our Victorville request, the La Tuna requests have been denied fee waiver or expedited process.  The BOP -- the agency whose records alone will demonstrate whether its own agents are speaking truth or lies -- made its denials by seemingly ignoring pages of legal and factual support and instead simply paraphrasing the FOIA's text.  The La Tuna denials go further than did BOP West Regional Counsel Harlan Penn, however, in that the South-Central Region here claims a non-undercover prison guard's privacy interests outweigh our right to know that officer's (a) identity, and (b) law enforcement qualifications, when guard identities are already known to the inmates (and their Outsiders) who pose the greatest threats to those guards.  The author respectfully submits an anonymous Federal police force is un-American, and here objects that most prison guards should expect no more privacy about their occupations than any other non-undercover citizen. The Requestor accepts, of course, that some undercover Federal agents must remain unidentified for security reasons, both theirs and ours.  Such exceptions will be rare, though.

    Please read these documents critically.  If you wish to see these records about questionable Federal operations and activities, please support this site's mission by signing the Guestbook in as much (or as little) detail as you wish.

La Tuna FCI (low), Anthony, New Mexico/Texas, 12/1/2005 (LAT 1) (Req. No. 2006-02285)

     This is Request Number 2006-02285. Download 120105_La_Tuna_FOIA_Staffing_Violence_doc.pdf

La Tuna FCI (low), Anthony, New Mexico/Texas, 12/14/2005 (LAT 2) (Req. No. 2006-02289)

     This is Request Number 2006-02289. Download 121405_La_Tuna_FOIA_Staffing.pdf

BOP RESPONSE No. 2006-02285, South-Central Region Legal Division, January 26, 2006 (postmarked 1/31/2006)

Download 6_0126_SCRO_BOP_Resp.pdf

BOP RESPONSE No. 2006-02289, South-Central Region Legal Division, January 27, 2006 (postmarked 2/10/2006)

Download 6_0127_DOJ_Resp_No_2006_02289__w_Pstmk_.pdf

La Tuna ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL of Denials, Req. No. 2006-02285, 3/25/2006

Download 6_0325_LAT_AdApp_2285.pdf

La Tuna ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL of Denials, Req. No. 2006-02289, 3/25/2006

Download 6_0325_LAT_AdApp_2289.pdf

La Tuna FCI (low), Anthony, New Mexico/Texas, 3/30/2006 (LAT 3)

Download 6_0330_La_Tuna_FOIA__3_.pdf

DOJ/OIP DENIALS of Expedited Process in Req. Nos. 2006-02285 and 2006-02289 (App. Nos. 06-1604 and 06-1605), 4/12/2006


We have now exhausted the administrative remedy process for both LAT 1 and LAT 2.  They are "ripe" for a civil complaint in either the jurisdiction in which I live or keep a princpal place of business; the jurisdiction in which the BOP's records are situated (La Tuna, El Paso, Dallas, or Washington, D.C.); or in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  See 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B). 

Download 6_0412_OIP_Den_ExpProcess_Metcalfe.pdf

BOP RESPONSE No. 2006-05569, South-Central Region Legal Division, UNDATED (postmarked 5/25/2006)

     PLEASE note the BOP's response begins with a violation, by sending an undated letter.  I rely on the envelope's postmark, May 25, 2005 (Dallas), as the response's untimely date.  Download _6_0525__UNDATED_LAT_AdApp_5569.pdf

La Tuna ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL of Denials, Req. No. 2006-05569, 7/24/2006

Download 6_0724_LAT_AdApp_5569.pdf

DOJ/OIP DENIAL of Expedited Process in Req. No. 2006-05569 (App. No. 06-2618), 8/17/2006


This exhausts our administrative remedies as regard FCI La Tuna -- the matter is now "ripe for adjudication."

Download 6_0817_OIP_Den_ExpProcess_Metcalfe.pdf

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