Skip to main content
Press Release

Federal Inmate Convicted Of Assaulting Three Federal Corrections Officers

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Thomas Waters, age 37, of Florence, South Carolina, was convicted following a jury trial of three counts of assaulting a federal officer.  The trial, held before United States District Judge Malachy E. Mannion, spanned three days, and the jury deliberated for approximately two hours before returning its verdict.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Waters, a federal inmate at the United States Penitentiary at Canaan located in Waymart, Pennsylvania, assaulted three federal corrections officers which resulted in bodily injury.  The evidence at trial showed that on January 18, 2023, while being counseled for a rule violation, Waters repeatedly struck a corrections officer in the head with his fists.  During the assault, Waters disarmed the officer of his service baton and used it to strike the officer in the head.  The officer suffered lacerations and bruising to his head and face and a hematoma to his shoulder.  When additional corrections officers responded to assist, Waters bit two corrections officers in the arm and finger respectively.  All three officers sustained bodily injury and required medical treatment at local hospitals.  Following the incident, Waters boasted about the assaults to prison officials and on a recorded telephone call. 

The case was investigated by the FBI-Scranton Division and the Special Investigations Section for the Bureau of Prisons.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffery St John and Tatum Wilson are prosecuting the case.

The maximum penalty under federal law for each offense is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.  A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

# # #

Updated February 5, 2024