LUBBOCK, Texas — A Lubbock man who made the news when he escaped from federal custody was sentenced Thursday to more than 35 years in prison. Mark Lucio, 39, was held in the Bailey County Jail on federal charges in August 2020.
Federal officials said Juan Anthony Cordero, 25, visited Lucio at the jail. Cordero and Lucio made a plan for Lucio to escape.
Federal officials said Lucio crawled under a sally port door at the Bailey County Jail and ran into a waiting vehicle driven by Cordero. Both were later located and arrested after a manhunt and appeals to the public by law enforcement to report them if seen.
Cordero was sentenced to 14 months for the escape.
The following is a statement from federal prosecutors.
Former Federal Prison Escapee Sentenced to More Than 35 Years
A Lubbock man who twice escaped from law enforcement custody has been sentenced to more than 35 years in federal prison for gun and drug crimes, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.
Mark Anthony Lucio, 40, pleaded guilty to escaping federal custody, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearms by a convicted felon, possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. He was sentenced Thursday morning by U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix to 425 months in federal prison.
According to court documents, a Texas DPS trooper who was on patrol in Lubbock initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle on August 25, 2019. The driver, later identified as Lucio, attempted to evade troopers resulting in a high-speed pursuit throughout Lubbock. After traveling through an alley, Lucio and the passenger exited the vehicle and fled on foot.
Law enforcement continued pursuing the Lucio, who jumped a fence into a nearby backyard where he was arrested. Lucio and the passenger were detained in handcuffs and placed into separate vehicles.
Officers then began to search the backyard where Lucio was arrested and located three separate bags of methamphetamine totaling approximately 300 grams. Officers also recovered two loaded handguns from Lucio’s vehicle and on the ground next the vehicle.
When officers returned to their patrol cars, they realized that Lucio had managed to escape custody. Lucio remained a fugitive until November 22, 2019, when he was arrested on state warrants by the Lubbock Police Department.
On December 11, 2019, Lucio was charged by federal indictment for firearm and drug crimes which he later pleaded guilty to in June 2020. While awaiting sentencing, Mr. Lucio was remanded to federal custody at the Bailey County Jail in Muleshoe, Texas.
Juan Anthony Cordero, 25, visited Lucio at the Bailey County Jail on August 28, 2020. During a conversation between the two men, which was recorded by the jail, Lucio discussed the details of a prison escape that was to occur the next day, including the planned time and what vehicle Cordero would be driving.
The following day, Lucio called Cordero minutes before the planned escape and advised him to be on alert. Shortly after, Lucio crawled under a sally port door at the Bailey County Jail and ran into a waiting vehicle driven by Cordero.
Later that day, the Hale County Sheriff’s Office located Cordero’s vehicle in Plainview, Texas. Cordero informed members of the United States Marshals Service that he supplied Lucio with a firearm and dropped him off at an address in Abernathy, Texas.
That same day, law enforcement was able to successfully take Lucio into custody at the Abernathy, Texas residence. The firearm the Cordero provided to Lucio during the escape was also recovered from the scene.
In February 2021, Cordero was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for assisting Lucio’s escape.
The United States Marshal Service, Texas Department of Public Safety, Bailey County Sheriff’s Office, and Hale County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Rancourt prosecuted the case.