By Dick Mauer
Back around 1987, when the Cubans were running wild and we had them
locked up all over the country, we had a pair of Cubans in Buffalo that
needed "special attention". These guys had been incarcerated on a INS
detainer in 5 different facilities in Western New York. They had
managed, among assaults and other indiscretions, to start fires in every
police lockup and county jail we could get to take them. INS did not
have a detention facility at the time. When the last facility said "come
and get them" we had no place to put them. While this was a INS DD&P
problem, these aliens were considered to hostile for DD&P Officers. Our
solution was to get a detention van and detail 3 Border Patrol Agents to
drive them nonstop to the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, a 22 hours drive.
Non stop meant exactly that, with no in restaurant meals, and toilet
calls only at law enforcement facilities, after making arrangement, and
under constant observation. Dan Allman, John Crocitto and myself were
the chauffeurs and we had both miscreants completely shackled and
barefoot. The drive proceeded without incident and we delivered our
charges the next afternoon.
The Atlanta Federal Penitentiary is an impressive monstrosity made of
entirely steel and stone. I would never have thought it was capable of
burning and was amazed to read the next week that it was destroyed in a
Cuban led insurrection riot. I have never read of blame being placed on
any one individual, but I'd be willing to bet that that one of our
arsonists passengers was involved.