Southern Ill. town hopes to host Gitmo transplants -

Southern Ill. town hopes to host Gitmo transplants

MARION, Ill. (AP) -- The federal prison in Marion has housed spies, a Columbia druglord and even mobster John Gotti. Now, the southern Illinois city's mayor is rolling out the welcome mat to terror suspects.

Marion is part of a small contingent of U.S. cities seeking out any of the more than 200 detainees from Cuba's Guantanamo Bay lockup, which President Barack Obama hopes to shutter.

Mayor Robert Butler has to clear many hurdles before that would happen, including persuading the Bureau of Prisons to restore his town's medium-security prison to its former high-security status. That would mean hiring dozens of additional guards, padding the region's payroll.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has asked the bureau to study housing Guantanamo detainees at super maximum-security prisons and of possibly returning the Marion prison to that status.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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