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Fri, Jan. 28

Briefs: Security enhancements made after prison break

Arizona corrections officials say they have made enhancements on fence structures and gates in response to an escape of two male prisoners earlier this year. (Adobe image)

Arizona corrections officials say they have made enhancements on fence structures and gates in response to an escape of two male prisoners earlier this year. (Adobe image)

PHOENIX - Arizona corrections officials say they have made enhancements on fence structures and gates in response to an escape of two incarcerated men from a prison earlier this year.

The announcement Friday by the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry came shortly after the agency released 400 pages of records from an investigation into the Jan. 23 escape by David T. Harmon and John B. Charpiot from the State Prison Complex in Florence, located 67 miles (107 kilometers) from downtown Phoenix.

The records were heavily redacted and provided very little new information on the escape. Some documents – such as a 27-page investigative report and another 24-page document titled “SYNOPSIS OF INMATE ESCAPE” -- were redacted almost entirely.

Authorities say the pair used stolen tools to breach a fence, tried to rob a business before running away when a clerk screamed for help and were caught five days later in a cotton field near Coolidge, Arizona, after people had reported seeing the prisoners.

Harmon is serving 100 years for kidnapping and second-degree burglary. Charpiot is serving 35 years for convictions for molestation of a child and sexual abuse.

Man sentenced in ammunition smuggling case

TUCSON – A 26-year-old Phoenix man has been sentenced to over three years in prison for attempting to take thousands of rounds of ammunition from the United States to Mexico.

A federal judge in Tucson sentenced Mauricio Robles on Wednesday on his July 26 guilty plea.

According to a complaint filed by a Homeland Security Investigations agent, Robles was the owner of a vehicle stopped by the Arizona Department of Public Safety on Interstate 10 near Eloy for unlawful window tint on May 4, 2020.

Robles was a passenger in his car, which was being driven by another man when it was stopped, the complaint said.

The complaint said the car’s back end appeared to be low and a search disclosed that the trunk was full of nearly 6,000 rounds of four kinds of ammunition.

The complaint said Robes acknowledged knowing there was ammunition in the vehicle and said he had agreed to be paid for having his car used to transport the ammunition to Rio Rico so another person could smuggle it into Mexico. The driver of Robles’ car at the time it was stopped was sentenced in September to nearly six years in prison.

Arizona DPS arrests man with military ordnance

PHOENIX – Arizona authorities have arrested a man who was allegedly driving a stolen vehicle that had an inactive military ordnance inside.

State Department of Public Safety officials said 36-year-old Timothy Carpenter is facing one count of theft of transportation among other charges including outstanding warrants.

Detectives spotted the stolen SUV at a north Phoenix motel Wednesday and tried to arrest Carpenter, but he drove off, authorities said.

He later jumped out of the vehicle and tried to flee but was taken into custody, officials said.

When DPs troopers searched the SUV, a suspicious device was found.

A section of Interstate 17 was shut down for about an hour while authorities investigated the device.

DPS’ explosives and ordnance disposal unit responded to the scene and determined the munition was a non-explosive military device.

It was unclear Thursday if Carpenter has a lawyer yet who can speak on his behalf.

Phoenix council OKs settles over rescue ordeal

PHOENIX – The Phoenix City Council has approved a settlement of up to $450,000 for a woman whose rescue basket spun uncontrollably while she was being airlifted off a mountain hiking area.

City firefighters said at the time that the basket got caught in a downwind from the helicopter. They also said that a cable line intended to stop the basket from rotating broke during the June 2019 incident.

The spinning continued for about 40 seconds as the crew tried several times to raise and lower the basket to get it out of the spiral.

Katalin Metro, who was being rescued after falling on a Piestewa Peak trail, said she had to have surgery for a spinal cord injury because of the out-of-control spinning.

The woman also went through weeks of rehabilitation and her medical bills reportedly reached $290,000.

Metro and her husband filed a $2 million claim against Phoenix. A civil lawsuit was later filed in Maricopa County Superior Court last year, which said the incident caused Metro “physical, emotional and psychological injuries and damages.”

Metro was 74 years old at the time of the rescue basket mishap.

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