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Mexican prisons infested with contraband

The Americas Post - It looks more like a Walmart than a prison. Photo Credit: Antonio Duarte/EFE

In an early Saturday raid at two prisons in the Mexican city of Morelia, the Michoacan Ministry of Public Security seized drugs, weapons, alcohol and a wide variety of household appliances including plasma screen televisions.

At a press conference, the head of the agency said that items confiscated at Mil Cumbres prison included an M1 rifle with seven rounds of ammunition, a Colt 45 caliber pistol, 186 doses of marijuana, 166 doses of heroin, 12 doses of cocaine, 58 thousand dollars, scissors, pirated discs, two potted plants resembling marijuana, watches, microwave ovens, 247 belts, 92 mobile phones, 11 pipes, 43 VCR’s, seven stereo systems, 37 boom boxes, 132 televisions, 17 plasma screens, 66 DVD players, fans, grills, minibars, 11 bottles of whiskey and 122 cans of beer.

Public Security Director Elias Alvarez Hernandez said that a separate search at the Francis J. Mugica Social Rehabilitation Center found 200 doses of marijuana, 750 doses of heroin, 95 cellphones, 28 metal knives,  15 icepicks, 16 knives, 10 boxcutters, eight pipes, 12 cell phone chips, 60 cell phone chargers, nine USBs, 45 televisions, 75 thousand dollars in currency, and various electrical appliances such as burners, fans, blenders and irons.

Alvarez blamed the contraband on Jesus Zuniga, aka El Chuy or the Great , who was in control inside the prison and was engaged in drug sales and extortion of fees for a variety of activities.

In a separate discovery, agents for the state attorney general in Ciudad Juarez Cereso, captured five high powered weapons in addition to the 67 confiscated there already this week.

Special Prosecutor spokesman Jorge Daniel Chairez, said the weapons were placed in a hole in an area controlled by The Aztecs gang, which is linked to the Juarez Cartel.  That capture included two .303 caliber rifles, an Uzi submachine gun, two homemade guns, 30 cartridges and 61 mobile phones.

The searches were carried out using sophisticated weapons detection gear manufactured by Hi-Tec, the spokesman said.