Federal Correctional Institution, La Tuna

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Federal Correctional Institution, La Tuna
LocationAnthony, El Paso County, Texas
CoordinatesCoordinates: 31°58′56″N 106°35′26″W / 31.98222°N 106.59056°W / 31.98222; -106.59056
Security classLow-security (with minimum-security prison camp)
Population1,060 (320 in prison camp)
Managed byFederal Bureau of Prisons

The Federal Correctional Institution, La Tuna (FCI La Tuna) is a low-security United States federal prison for male inmates in Anthony, Texas. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice. A satellite prison camp, located 30 miles from the facility, houses minimum-security inmates.

FCI La Tuna is located on the Texas-New Mexico border, 12 miles north of El Paso, Texas.[1]

Letters from La Tuna[edit]

From May to September 2013, the El Paso Times published a series of letters written by Bob Jones, a longtime El Paso businessman serving a 10-year sentence on corruption and fraud convictions at FCI La Tuna. Known as "Letters from La Tuna," Jones wrote the letters to his family to "warn you and all of our loved ones and friends away from any misdeeds or illegal behavior" and give readers insight into the harsh consequences of breaking the law. In the first article, Jones described being detained in a private prison in Otero County, New Mexico after he was sentenced on February 17, 2011 and contracting E. coli bacteria from undercooked food and becoming ill with dysentery. Still sick, he was transferred to FCI La Tuna in May 2011:

I was loaded with nine other men into a van and taken to La Tuna Federal Correctional Institution, throwing up all the way. Once I was checked in, I was taken by wheelchair to my new home -- and a different type of hell in Unit 6 (handicapped unit) at La Tuna. The things that saved my life were my "cellies" (my cell mates, the other five men in the six-man cell that I was assigned to live in, a 10-by-10-foot room). These men fed me and wheeled me to the bathroom, food service (sometimes) and to the medical office.

Jones subsequently suffered kidney failure and was sent to a local hospital twice, each stay lasting about 30 days before he was sent back to FCI La Tuna. Jones wrote that while in the hospital, he was chained to the bed and was watched by guards 24 hours a day. However, Jones noted that the conditions at FCI La Tuna were better in comparison to the private prison he came from: "La Tuna is far more what I expected of prison -- food, guards, management bureaucracy" and added "the inmates [at FCI La Tuna] are mostly men who are in prison for far too long a term for their crimes."[2]

Notable inmates (current and former)[edit]

Inmate Name Register Number Status Details
Anthony Curcio 38974-086 Released from custody in 2013; served 6 years.[3] Former college football player and real estate investor; convicted in 2009 of masterminding an elaborate armored car heist, during which he wore a rip-away landscaper disguise, stashed an inner tube in a nearby creek, floated to a nearby getaway car and escaped with $400,000.[4][5]
Max Hardcore 44902-112 Released from custody on July 19, 2011; served 2 and a half years.[6][7] American porn producer, director and performer. Was convicted on obscenity charges and sentenced to 46 months in prison.[8]
George Jung 19225-004 Released from custody in 2014; served nearly 20 years.[9] Major player in the cocaine trade in the United States in the 1970s and early 1980s. Jung was a part of the Medellín Cartel, which was responsible for up to 89 percent of the cocaine smuggled into the United States. He specialized in the smuggling of cocaine from Colombia on a large scale. His life story was portrayed in the 2001 film Blow, starring Johnny Depp.[10]
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula 56329-112 Released from custody in 2013; served 1 year.[11] Egyptian-born Coptic Christian; produced the anti-Islamic video Innocence of Muslims in 2012, which sparked violent protests in the Middle East; arrested for violating the terms of his probation from a 2010 check fraud conviction.[12][13]
Benjamin Hoskins Paddock Escaped from custody in 1968.[14] Paddock's escape landed him on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list where he would remain until 1977, making him one of the longest-tenured fugitives ever on that list. His son, Stephen Craig Paddock, carried out the 2017 Las Vegas shooting.
Joseph Valachi Died in custody in 1971 while serving a life sentence. In the 1963 Valachi hearings before the United States Senate, Valachi, an Italian-American Mafia lieutenant, disclosed previously unknown information about the Mafia including its structure, operations, rituals and membership. This was the first concrete evidence to federal authorities and the general public that the Mafia existed.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BOP: FCI La Tuna". Federal Bureau of Prisons.
  2. ^ Jones, Bob (2011). "Bob Jones writes about his first 180 days in prison". El Paso Times. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  3. ^ Stangeland, Brooke (June 20, 2013). "Reporter's Notebook: On the Trail of a Bank Robber". ABC News. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  4. ^ Doughery, Phil. "D.B. Tuber". History Link.
  5. ^ Stangeland, Brooke. "Reporter's Notebook: On the Trail of a Bank Robber". ABC news.
  6. ^ Kernes, Mark (January 29, 2009). "Max Hardcore Surrenders To U.S. Marshals". AVN.com. p. 1. Retrieved February 1, 2009.
  7. ^ "Federal Bureau of Prisons".
  8. ^ 2008-10-03, 2008-10-03; Hamilton Nolan (October 3, 2008). "Sleazy Pornographer Is Unfortunately A First Amendment Martyr". Gawker. Gawker. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
  9. ^ Zach Schonfeld (June 6, 2014). "'Blow' Drug Trafficker George Jung Released From Jail". Newsweek. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  10. ^ Matthew Guariglia. "George Jung Released: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". heavy.com. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  11. ^ Gorman, Steve (September 26, 2013). "California man behind anti-islam film freed from federal custody". Reuters. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  12. ^ Barnes, Brooks (November 7, 2012). "Man Behind Anti-Islam Video Gets Prison Term". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  13. ^ Associated Press. "California man behind anti-Islam film jailed for probation violation". Fox News. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  14. ^ "Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, Shiner Gazette (Shiner, Texas) March 2, 1972, page 3". Shiner Gazette. 1972-03-02. p. 3. Retrieved 2018-02-25.

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