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Press Release

Inmate Indicted For Aggravated Assault Of Corrections Officer

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 today that Ellis Hawkins, age 46, an inmate at United States Penitentiary Canaan, was indicted on April 11, 2017, by a federal grand jury on a charge of aggravated assault of a federal employee.


According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the indictment alleges that Hawkins struck a corrections officer in the face with his head during an altercation at the prison in December. The officer suffered substantial injuries.


The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and officers at USP Canaan. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean A. Camoni is prosecuting the case.


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 statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.


The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. 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 an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated April 12, 2017