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Press Release

Federal Inmate Guilty of Possessing Shank in Beaumont Prison

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

BEAUMONT, Texas – A 26-year-old federal prison inmate has pleaded guilty to possession of a shank in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.


Rafael Castillo, Jr., pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited object on Feb. 28, 2017, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin.

According to information presented in court, on June 20, 2016, Castillo, an inmate at the Federal Correctional Complex in Beaumont, was found during a pat-down search, to be in possession of two homemade weapons measuring approximately 5.5 inches and 7 inches in length each. Castillo had the weapons concealed in his pants pocket. Each weapon, commonly referred to as a ‘shank,’ had been constructed out of metal material and had been sharpened to a point and designed to be used as a weapon. Such objects are prohibited in the Beaumont Federal Correctional Complex.


Under federal statutes, Castillo faces up to 20 years in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress and is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.


This case was investigated by the Bureau of Prisons and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall L. Fluke.

Updated March 3, 2017