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Press Release

Federal Inmates Plead Guilty to Weapons Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced today that two inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution at McDowell pled guilty to possessing handcrafted weapons known as “shanks.” 

“Shanks.  So many shanks.  All too frequently, inmates are found to be in possession of weapons, or shanks,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “The importance of the searches conducted by Bureau of Prison staff members cannot be overstated.”

Carlos Diaz-Bernard, 34, admitted that on February 14, 2018, he possessed a piece of plastic sharpened to a point on one end and hidden inside his pants.   Ricardo Delgado-Vazquez, 36, admitted that on April 20, 2018, he possessed a piece of metal sharpened to a point on one end,  which he had hidden in the sleeve of his jacket.  Prison staff members found the weapons during searches of the inmates.  The two men face up to five years in prison, consecutive to the sentences they are now serving.  Their sentencings are scheduled for November 27, 2018.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons investigated the cases, and Assistant United States Attorney John File is handling the prosecutions.  Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber presided over the plea hearings.


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Updated July 26, 2018