FBI Probing Deadly Prison Riot

Express-News (San Antonio), March 28, 2008

A riot at a federal penitentiary in Three Rivers this morning has left one prisoner dead and 22 others injured.

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Friday afternoon, prison officials identified the slain inmate as Servando Rodriguez, 38. He was serving a 54-month sentence for violating his federal supervision related to a conviction on charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and being in this country illegally after being previously deported to Mexico.

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Fifteen inmates were taken to area medical facilities, including some in San Antonio. Seven others were treated at the prison for minor injuries. A Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman said Friday afternooon that three inmates have been returned to Three Rivers.

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Some criminal intelligence sources said they believe the riot might have been between Mexican-American inmates who consider themselves Chicanos and inmates who have closer ties to Mexico. A similar type of faceoff occurred last week at a Houston jail that houses federal pre-trial inmates.

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Apparently, there’s growing resentment and bad blood between the groups of inmates.

Prison officials could not confirm those reports, saying the matter remains under investigation.

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The Three Rivers prison has seen its share of violence—which had previously been undisclosed.

In June 2007, inmate Ernesto “Neto” Rodriguez, an alleged member of the Texas Mexican Mafia, the largest prison gang in Texas’ state prison system, was stabbed there but survived.

In January, the FBI, San Antonio police and investigators with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice obtained a racketeering indictment against more than 30 members of the Texas Mexican Mafia. In that indictment, they charged Jacinto “Cache” Navajar, a purported gang general, with attempting to murder Rodriguez by stabbing and cutting him. The indictment cites the gang for committing 22 murders, mostly in San Antonio, since 2000.

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