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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Two Federal Inmates Indicted On Homemade Weapons Charges

SCRANTON-The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced that a federal grand jury in Scranton today indicted two inmates at the Schuylkill Federal Correctional Institution for illegal possession of homemade weapons in two separate cases.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, inmate Michael Thompson, age 30, was charged with possession of a homemade sharpened weapon known as a “shank” in January of 2016.  Inmate James Bailey-Snyder, age 23, was charged for a similar offense which occurred in August 2015.

If convicted, the maximum sentence for both defendants is a sentence of up to five years and a fine in the amount of $250,000.

The investigations were conducted by the FBI. The cases are assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Todd K. Hinkley.

Indictments and Criminal Informations 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 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 June 28, 2016