Inmate Pleads Guilty to Possessing Homemade Knife in Prison

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WILLIAMSPORT, PA —The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Christian Mendez-Castro, age 29, an inmate of Federal Correctional Institution Allenwood (FCI Allenwood), White Deer, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty on September 21, 2022, before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Matthew W. Brann, to possessing contraband in prison.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Mendez-Castro admitted that he possessed a homemade weapon while he was an inmate at FCI Allenwood. The charge stemmed from an incident on November 16, 2019, when a correctional officer searched Mendez-Castro and found a hard piece of plastic fashioned into a knife with a rubber handle, as well as papers that were soaked in synthetic cannabinoids.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Drew O. Inman and Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey W. MacArthur are prosecuting the case.

Chief Judge Brann ordered the U.S. Probation Office to complete a presentence investigation report for Mendez-Castro.  Sentencing has not been scheduled.

The maximum penalty for possessing contraband in prison is five years imprisonment, a three-year term of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

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