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Press Release

Prisoners Sentenced to an Additional 20 Years in Prison for Attempting to Kill a Federal Correctional Officer, Assault on a Federal Correctional Officer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced Jonathan Mota, 37, and Dominic Adams, 27, today to 20 years in prison, following their convictions at trial, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

Mota was sentenced for attempting to kill a federal officer, and Adams was sentenced for assault on a federal officer. The sentences are to be served consecutively to the federal sentences they are currently serving, and will be followed by three years of supervised release.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, on October 6, 2017, Mota, Adams and four other inmates brutally attacked a Federal Bureau of Prisons officer who was a teacher working at the federal penitentiary in Atwater. The officer was repeatedly stabbed with homemade knives and kicked and beaten by the inmates.

According to court documents, on the day of the attack, Mota and Eric Chiago, 28, entered the copy room where the officer was making copies and repeatedly stabbed him. William Roe Acevedo, 33; Michael Martin, 30; Joey Thomas, 26; and Adams stationed themselves outside the room. When the victim was able to free himself and escape down the hallway, the six defendants tackled him and wrestled him to the floor where they repeatedly kicked, punched and stabbed him. Adams and Thomas also assaulted an officer who was responding to the attack.

Chiago, Acevedo, Martin, and Thomas pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. Chiago was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in prison, Acevedo was sentenced to 13 years in prison, Martin was sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison, and Thomas was sentenced to eight years and one month in prison.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk E. Sherriff prosecuted the case.

Updated January 31, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 1:18-cr-035 LJO