Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Deaths Of Prisoners Probed.(New Mexico)

Byline: Rene Romo Journal Southern Bureau

LAS CRUCES The deaths of two inmates found strangled in their state prison cells here Monday stemmed from a gang power struggle over the prison's drug trade, Corrections Department officials said.

A spokeswoman for the State Police later said investigators from that agency have not confirmed the gang and drug-trade allegations.

"Initial investigation reveals that the homicides were the result of an internal power struggle over the prison drug trade, extortion and territory within the same prison gang," Corrections spokesman Gerges Scott said in a prepared statement Tuesday. "These gang members were separated from non-gang-member inmates who are not disruptive. …

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