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Press Release

Four Federal Inmates Charged With Possession Of Weapons

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

WILLIAMSPORT - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that four inmates at the Allenwood Federal Correctional Complex (FCC Allenwood) were indicted separately by a federal grand jury for possessing contraband within a federal prison.


According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the following defendants, all inmates at FCC Allenwood at the time of the alleged incidents, were charged:


  • Craig Pipps, age 43, charged with possession of a weapon (a 7.5 inch improvised knife) allegedly found in his boot on December 12, 2016, at the United States Penitentiary Allenwood (U.S.P. Allenwood);

  • Zarqurous Sanders, age 32, charged with possession of a weapon (an 8 inch improvised knife) allegedly found on his person on December 11, 2016, at U.S.P. Allenwood;

  • Ruben Esparza, age 37, charged with possession of heroin on June 27, 2015, at U.S.P. Allenwood; and

  • Jeremy Harwell, age 30, charged with possession of a weapon (a 7 inch improvised knife) found on his person on December 18, 2016, at the Federal Correctional Institution Allenwood.


The investigations were conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Prisons Special Investigative Service. Special Assistant United States Attorney Michael Figgsganter and Assistant United States Attorney Geoffrey W. MacArthur are prosecuting the cases.


Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.


A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statues and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.


In this case, the maximum penalty for each offense is five years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not necessarily an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.



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Updated May 25, 2017