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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Federal Inmate Charged With Possession Of A Prison Weapon

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Margarito Morales-Oliva, age 35, formerly of Mexico, an inmate at the United States Penitentiary at Canaan, Pennsylvania, was charged on August 15, 2014 in a criminal Information with allegedly possessing a sharpened weapon commonly referred to as a “shank.”      

     The case was investigated by the FBI and the Special Investigation Section at USP-Canaan.  Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney John Gurganus.

     Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

     A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

      In this particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is five years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Updated April 9, 2015