Guards say they found inmate Juan Ramirez Tijerina curled up inside a suitcase being wheeled by his common-law wife, 19-year-old Maria del Mar Arjona.
Arjona was on her way out of the prison in Chetumal following a conjugal visit.
Guards stopped her. They say she seemed nervous and that the bag looked bulky.
Charges are pending against Arjona.
Ramirez is serving a 20-year sentence for a 2007 illegal weapons conviction.