Brazil's federal police arrest 2 maximum-security fugitives after 50-day manhunt

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s federal police said Thursday that they arrested two fugitives who escaped a maximum-security prison in northeastern Brazil, bringing a 50-day manhunt to an end.

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In February, Rogério Mendonça and Deibson Nascimento became the first inmates to ever escape from Brazil’s federal penitentiary system, a source of embarrassment for both the justice ministry and the police.

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Brazil’s federal police have arrested two fugitives, Rogério Mendonça and Deibson Nasciment, who escaped a maximum-security prison in February. (Alex Pantling – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Brazil’s justice ministry said in a statement the two were arrested in the Amazon city of Maraba, more than 1,600 kilometers (995 miles) west of the Mossoro penitentiary where they were jailed.

Both were sent to Mossoro in September for their connections with one of Brazil’s largest and most dangerous crime gangs. They escaped on Feb. 14, setting off a nationwide manhunt that included regular updates on Brazilian TV stations.

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Brazilian authorities said in March that Mendonça, 35, and Nascimento, 33, fled through a hole and used tools left by workers during prison renovation works to cut through a wired fence.

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