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2 IRA Escapees Captured in California

June 05, 1992

Two Irish Republican Army members who broke out of Belfast's storied Maze Prison in a 1983 mass escape have been captured, one in San Diego and the other in San Francisco, authorities said Thursday.

Kevin Barry John Artt, 33, who had been fired a few days ago from his job as a salesman at a Pacific Beach car dealership, was arrested Wednesday as he climbed out of a boat near a Mission Bay hotel, authorities said. In Northern Ireland he had been serving a life term for killing a prison warden.

James Joseph Smyth, 38, who was serving a 20-year prison term for attempted murder of a prison official, was arrested Wednesday in San Francisco. Both men were charged with passport fraud, and U.S. authorities said they intend to prosecute them on that charge before turning to the possibility of extradition proceedings.

Artt had been jailed for life for killing Maze Deputy Warden Albert Miles at his Belfast home in 1977.

Artt was held Thursday in the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center pending a court hearing Monday in San Diego federal court. Smyth was held in San Francisco.

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