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Press Release

Jury Convicts FCI-Greenville Inmate of Possessing a Weapon in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois
Lauren Barry, Public Affairs Officer

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A man who was serving a prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Greenville was found guilty by a jury of possessing a weapon.

Tavian C. Steward, 22, was convicted Tuesday on one count of possession of contraband in prison.

“Inmates in possession of weapons pose a significant threat to correctional officers, prison staff and other inmates, and thanks to quick and efficient efforts by FCI-Greenville personnel, a dangerous situation was avoided,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe.

According to court documents and evidence presented during the trial, a correctional officer at FCI-Greenville received a tip Steward was in possession of a homemade weapon on Oct. 27, 2022. Following a pat-down search, correctional officers located a handmade weapon in the pocket of Steward’s jacket. 

"Thanks to the watchful eyes and proactive efforts of FCI-Greenville correctional officers, a potentially dangerous situation was averted,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Joe Rodriguez. “FBI Springfield is committed to working closely with FCI-Greenville to help maintain the safety of their staff and inmates.”

The weapon was a piece of metal sharpened to a point with brown fabric wrapped around the base as a handle. The weapon was approximately 5.25 inches in length.

Possession of contraband in prison is punishable by up to 5 additional years’ imprisonment, which must be served consecutively to an inmate’s initial sentence. Steward’s sentencing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on July 25 at the federal courthouse in East St. Louis.

The FBI Springfield Field Office led the investigation with support from FCI-Greenville officials. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Dean and Tom Leggans are prosecuting the case.

Updated April 18, 2024