NewsHunt for Texas Cartel Killer


Transportation of Texas prison inmates to resume Monday: TDCJ

TDCJ Prison Bus
Posted at 11:57 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-11 01:25:29-04

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says it's resuming the transportation of inmates just four days after pausing them in the wake of a convicted killer's escape.

“The public’s safety is the first duty and highest obligation for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice,” Bryan Collier, executive director for TDCJ.

Collier said inmates will be back on Texas roads starting Monday.

He said the state's prison agency reviewed transportation protocols and found new safety measures should be implemented, but he did not specify a timeline on when they'll be fully added.

New measures include but not limited to:
• Three officers will be required on transport buses.
• Enhanced search procedures of an inmate before boarding a transport vehicle.
• New video surveillance equipment will be installed on transport vehicles.
• Inmates determined to be the highest risk will be transported by themselves.
• Unit medical capabilities will be enhanced to reduce the need for offsite transport.
• An independent security review will be conducted by an outside party.

He added a promise that both the Serious Incident Review of last month's escape in Leon County and the outside firm's independent review will be made available for the public.



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Collier did not specify when he expects those reports to be completed.

This comes as State Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) told 25 News on Tuesday that cartel killer Gonzalo Lopez brought a key and knife on board a prison bus to escape last month near Centerville.

The 16 inmates on board "started making a disturbance, singing and jumping up and down" prior to Lopez’s escape, Whitmire said.

Lopez told "other inmates he was going to escape and 'this is your opportunity,'" Whitmire said.

The corrections officers were distracted, and the driver was watching the road, while Lopez was releasing his restraints, and then while he was "breaking out of the little cage he was in," Whitmire said.

He also said that the state transports over 2,000 inmates daily on Texas roads and urged prison officials to dramatically change current transportation procedures.

Lopez had been on the run in Leon County for weeks before he broke into a cabin and killed a family of five visiting from Tomball.

Mark Collins
Mark Collins, 66, died with his four grandsons inside a Leon County ranch home that authorities believe convicted killer Gonzalo Lopez hid inside after fleeing from custody last month.

Brothers Carson, 16, Hudson, 11, and Waylon Collins, 18, their cousin Bryson, 11, and their grandfather, Mark Collins, 66, all lost their lives at the hands of the convicted murderer.

Collins Family Brothers
Brothers Carson, 16, Hudson, 11, and Waylon Collins, 18, were all Tomball ISD students and in their first week of summer break. The oldest brother, Waylon, was a baseball umpire for Tomball Little League.

They will be laid to rest at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston.

Bryson Collins
Bryson Collins, 11, joined his three cousins and grandfather for a trip to the family ranch in Leon County. He was also a Tomball ISD student.

Family and friends are collecting donations on GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses for the Collins family.

Click here to donate.