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September 18, 2013

ALEXANDRIA, La. United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that James Peter Thomas, 32, of Phoenix, Ariz., was sentenced to 176 months in prison and three years of supervised release for assaulting a federal prison guard. Thomas pleaded guilty June 18, 2013.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, on April 3, 2013, two prison guards found Thomas along with two other inmates drinking a homemade alcoholic beverage in a cell at the U.S. Penitentiary at Pollock, La. One guard led Thomas and the other two inmates out of the cell, but Thomas returned later and began beating the guard who remained in the cell using a padlock tied to a belt. When another guard approached Thomas, he attacked that guard as well. Thomas was subdued after guards used pepper spray on him. The officer Thomas initially attacked was brought to a nearby hospital where he was treated for four days in an intensive care unit. When the attack occurred, Thomas was serving a 161-month combined sentence for one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence and another count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

 The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons conducted the investigation.  Senior Litigation Counsel Joseph G. Jarzabek prosecuted the case.

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