Federal Detention Center, Houston

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Federal Detention Center, Houston
LocationHouston, Texas
Security classAdministrative facility (all security levels)
Managed byFederal Bureau of Prisons
WardenJoe D. Driver

The Federal Detention Center, Houston (FDC Houston) is a United States federal prison in Downtown Houston, Texas which holds male and female inmates prior to and during court proceedings, as well an inmates serving short sentences. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice.[1] It is in proximity to Minute Maid Park.[2]

The facility, opened in October 1999,[3] has space for 1,118 prisoners and was built for $35 million. The 11 story facility serves people awaiting trial in the Southern District of Texas.[4]

Notable incidents[edit]

In March 2008 a fistfight between two inmates grew into a disturbance which resulted in minor injuries for three employees and eight prisoners.[5]

In April 2008, inmate Joel Lopez was indicted for conspiring to commit kidnapping and murder-for-hire for plotting to kill US District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa from FDC Houston. Hinojosa had sentenced Lopez to life in prison for a February 2006 drug conviction. The indictment alleged that Lopez approached a fellow inmate, who was affiliated with the Latin Kings street gang and was due to be released shortly, and offered to pay the inmate $2 million to kill Hinojosa and an unidentified woman who owed Lopez a drug debt. Lopez instructed the inmate to contact his wife, Aracely Lopez-Gonzalez, and provided him with her contact information. Lopez thought that Hinojosa's death would help the pending appeal of Lopez's sentence.[6]

Lopez-Gonzalez subsequently pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and testified against Lopez, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder-for-hire.[7] Lopez was sentenced to another life term and is currently being held at the United States Penitentiary, Pollock, a high-security facility in Pollock, Louisiana. Aracely Lopez-Gonzalez is serving a 9-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution, Danbury, a medium-security facility in Danbury, Connecticut.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FDC Houston". Federal Bureau of Prisons.
  2. ^ "There is a federal prison in downtown Houston. Who knew?" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. November 2, 2015. Retrieved on February 7, 2016.
  3. ^ Bosworth, Mary. The U.S. Federal Prison System. SAGE Publications, July 19, 2002. ISBN 0761923047, 9780761923046. p. 235.
  4. ^ Tedford, Deborah. "Opening of U.S. detention center delivers some much-needed space." Houston Chronicle. October 16, 1999. p. A35 MetFront. NewsBank Record: 3171576. Available from the Houston Public Library, accessible with a library card.
  5. ^ George, Cindy. "Fistfight started inmate brawl at Houston federal jail" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Thursday March 13, 2008. Retrieved on February 7, 2016.
  6. ^ "Inmate's Murder-for-Hire Plot to Kill a Federal Judge and Kidnapping Conspiracy Lead to Life Sentence". Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  7. ^ "WOMAN INVOLVED WITH INMATE HUSBAND IN KIDNAPING CONSPIRACY AND MURDER-FOR-HIRE PLOT TO KILL A FEDERAL JUDGE SENTENCED". US Department of Justice. October 16, 2009. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Inmate Locator - Aracely Lopez-Gonzalez". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 28 October 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°45′30″N 95°21′38″W / 29.7584°N 95.3606°W / 29.7584; -95.3606