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Press Release

Federal Inmate Sentenced to Seven Months for Possession of Contraband Cell Phone

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

WILMINGTON, N.C. – A federal inmate pled guilty to possession of a contraband cell phone at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina (“FMC Butner”) and was sentenced on Wednesday to seven months in prison for the charge.  The seven-month term of imprisonment is in addition to, and consecutive to, his current term of imprisonment.

According to court documents, Ronito Gomez, 33, an inmate located at FMC Butner at the time of the offense, was found in possession of a cell phone during a visual search by Federal Bureau of Prisons staff.  During the search, staff discovered one cell phone with a SIM card and one cell phone charger, which Gomez had concealed under his clothing before the search.  The Warden at FMC Butner did not give Gomez permission or authorization to have a cell phone in his possession inside of the federal prison.

Gomez’s conviction for possession of a contraband cell phone also makes him ineligible to earn time credits under the First Step Act, which allows federal inmates to earn up to 365 days off of their sentence for participating in eligible programming while incarcerated. 

Michael Easley, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement.  The Federal Bureau of Prisons investigated the case and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Merrill Ward prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information are located on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:23-CR-00126-FL-RJ.


Updated September 7, 2023