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Press Release

Inmate Sentenced for Suboxone Trafficking and Assaulting Corrections Officer

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

ABINGDON, Va. – An inmate being housed at Western Virginia Regional Jail, who physically assaulted and pepper-sprayed a corrections officer while awaiting sentencing on federal drug charges, was sentenced this week in federal court for both offenses. 

Michael Selvidge, 38, was sentenced this week to 110 months for possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances and 41 months for assaulting a federal employee.

According to court documents, in the visitation room at U.S. Penitentiary Lee in 2019, Selvidge received contraband from a visitor.  Specifically, he received 48 Suboxone strips that he intended to distribute within the prison.  Selvidge ultimately pled guilty to three counts of possession and distribution of controlled substances in relation to that conduct.

While that case was pending, Selvidge was held at the Western Virginia Regional Jail.  On January 16, 2022, a corrections officer at Western Virginia Regional Jail was conducting security rounds at the jail when he encountered Selvidge and directed him to return to his cell.  Selvidge became upset, threatened the officer, and ultimately attacked the officer by striking him numerous times with his fists.  During the attack, the officer attempted to repel Selvidge with his pepper spray but dropped the canister on the floor.  Selvidge picked up the pepper spray, emptied it onto the officer’s face and body, and then threw the empty canister at the officer.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh of the Western District of Virginia made the announcement.

The Bureau of Prisons Special Investigative Services, the Western Virginia Regional Jail, and the United States Marshals Service investigated the case. 

Special Assistant United States Attorney Christine Hummert and Assistant U.S. Attorney Whit D. Pierce prosecuted the case.

Updated August 5, 2022