By KELIN DILLON
On Wednesday, Dec. 1, a group of cartel hitmen used a gas delivery truck to ram into the front gates of Mexico’s Tula prison in the central state of Hidalgo, ultimately freeing nine people, including the leaders of criminal organization “Pueblos Unidos,” though three escapees were later recaptured.
Armed with AR-15 rifles, grenade launchers and other weaponry, the criminals infiltrated the penitentiary at 4 a.m. and left swiftly after finding their intended targets for rescue through the same hole they created with the vehicle battering ram. The gas truck was later discarded in favor of a fleet of passenger vans, leaving several cars on fire and two police officers injured in their wake.
Two of the escapees were José Artemio Maldonado Mejía, alias “El Michoacano,” and his brother Mario Maldonado Mejía, “El M1,” the purported leaders of illicit fuel theft organization Pueblos Unidos. Maldonado Mejía had just been arrested on Friday, Nov. 26, in the State of Mexico (EdoMéx) on the charges of homicide and kidnapping.
As of Thursday, Dec. 2, Hidalgo police had recaptured three of the escaped inmates, nicknamed “El Cucaracho,” “El Vale” and “Farfan,” though the supposed Pueblos Unidos bosses still remained at large.
Meanwhile, authorities in EdoMéx purportedly apprehended a man who participated in the jail break, transferring him to the Texcoco Regional Prosecutor’s Office for further investigation.