Two violent inmates are on the run after escaping from a New Mexico prisoner transport van on Wednesday, March 9th in the Roswell area.
The inmates who are considered to be armed and dangerous were on route to the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility in Las Cruces when they made their escape. At this time there is no information on how the inmates escaped while being shackled but both the Artesia Police and the New Mexico Police Department are leading the investigation in an effort to recapture the suspects.
About the inmates:

  • Lionel Clah is Native American, 5-foot-11, weighs 175 pounds and has brown eyes and was convicted in 2009 of armed robbery and two counts of assault with intent to commit a violent felony on a peace officer. Clah has multiple tattoos including the word, “Shiprock Native” tattooed on his neck and a feather tattoo on his left cheek.
  • Joseph Cruz is Hispanic, 5-foot-5, weighs 165 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes and has been serving a life sentence for first-degree murder since 2007 for killing a man over drugs in Raton in northern New Mexico. Cruz has multiple tattoos including the word “Tribal” tattooed on his neck.

While the search is centered in an area just beyond the Artesia city limits, authorities are warning people in the Roswell, Artesia, Las Cruces and even the El Paso area to be vigilant and lock their doors and not to pick up hitchhikers. If you have any information about these suspects please contact authorities immediately.