Escaped Lee inmates captured in Mexico

The United States Marshals Service reports two federal prisoners who escaped from the U.S. Penitentiary in Lee County, VA were captured in Mexico today.

U.S. Marshals said they worked closely with Mexican law enforcement to capture Salah Mohamed, 35, and Kamal Qazah, 37.

According to authorities, Qazah was sentenced in the Western District of North Carolina in 2012 to 18 years in prison for his role in a cigarette smuggling ring spanning two years and two states — North Carolina and South Carolina from August 2009 to November 2011.

Mohamed was sentenced in a Virginia federal court in 2012 to more than 20 years for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine base, cocaine hydrochloride and heroin; conspiracy to ship, transport, receive, possess, sell, distribute, and purchase contraband cigarettes and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

Qazah and Mohamed will be taken into U.S. custody once Mexican authorities return them to the U.S.

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