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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

Sharon L. Potter
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY


1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Fawn E. Thomas, Public Affairs Specialist

 


March 6, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

17 Inmates at USP Hazelton Named in 6 Indictments

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA — Seventeen inmates at USP Hazelton were named in six separate Indictments returned this week by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

United States Attorney Sharon L. Potter announced that:

➀ MORRIS E. BENAIS, age 34; ANDERSON BLACK, age 32; CHAZ CAMBONGA, age 24; JOHN M. CHANVONGSA, age 19; DAVID E. CHINO, age 31; SIMON FRAZIER, age 23; LELAND W. LORD, JR., age 26; JERRY LUNA, age 42; RAMON S. MELENDREZ, age 32; GERALD D. NAHA, age 40; WHITMAN M. NIEDO, age 39; and JEREMY L. THOMPSON, age 26, were named in a nine-count Indictment.

Counts One, Two, and Three of the Indictment allege that BENAIS, BLACK, CAMONGA, CHANVONGSA, CHINO, FRAZIER, LORD, LUNA, MELENDREZ, NAHA, NIEDO, and THOMPSON, assaulted individuals at the United States Penitentiary Hazelton with a dangerous weapon and with intent to bodily harm without just cause on December 16, 2008.

Count Four of the Indictment alleges that LORD, using a dangerous weapon, assaulted a corrections officer on December 16, 2008, at USP Hazelton.

Count Five of the Indictment alleges that LORD unlawfully possessed an object that was designed to be used as a weapon on December 16, 2008, at USP Hazelton.

Count Six of the Indictment alleges that FRAZIER unlawfully possessed an object that was designed to be used as a weapon on December 16, 2008, at USP Hazelton.

Count Seven of the Indictment alleges that CAMBONGA unlawfully possessed an object that was designed to be used as a weapon on December 16, 2008, at USP Hazelton.

 

Count Eight of the Indictment alleges that BLACK unlawfully possessed an object that was designed to be used as a weapon on December 16, 2008, at USP Hazelton.

Count Nine of the Indictment alleges that CHINO unlawfully possessed an object that was designed to be used as a weapon on December 16, 2008, at USP Hazelton.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 each on Counts One, Two, and Three of the Indictment; a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count Four of the Indictment; and a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on each of the remaining counts of the Indictment.

➁ SHANE M. BENCH, age 22, was named in a two-count Indictment. The Indictment alleges that BENCH assaulted employees of the Bureau of Prisons who were engaged in their official duties on November 11, 2008, in Preston County. If convicted, BENCH faces a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on each count of the Indictment.

➂ ACE PASQUAL MOLINA, age 25, was named in a two-count Indictment. Count One of the Indictment alleges that MOLINA, an inmate at the Bureau of Prisons at United States Penitentiary Hazelton, assaulted an individual with a dangerous weapon without just cause or excuse on December 16, 2008. Count Two of the Indictment alleges that MOLINA possessed an object that was designed and intended to be used as a weapon on December 16, 2008. If convicted, MOLINA faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count One of the Indictment; and a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on Count Two of the Indictment.

➃ PATRICK PRIDE, age 34, was named in a two-count Indictment. The Indictment alleges that PRIDE assaulted employees of the Bureau of Prisons who were engaged in their official duties on November 15, 2008, in Preston County. If convicted, PRIDE faces a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 on each count of the Indictment.

➄ TIMOTHY CALDWELL, age 28, was named in a one-count Indictment. The Indictment alleges that CALDWELL assaulted an employee of the Bureau of Prisons who was engaged in official duties on February 8, 2009, in Preston County. If convicted, CALDWELL faces a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

➅ SOLOMON FIGUERAS, age 28, was named in a one-count Indictment. The Indictment alleges that FIGUERAS, aided and abetted by others, assaulted another inmate at United States Penitentiary Hazelton with a dangerous weapon without just cause or excuse on August 13, 2008. If convicted, FIGUERAS faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

The cases will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David E. Godwin. The cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It should be noted that the charges contained in the Indictments are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt, and that each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

 

 

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