BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – Five federal inmates were sentenced today for possessing weapons at the Federal Correctional Institution at McDowell, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. As part of separate prosecutions, Scott Finnell, 29, was sentenced to a year and three months in prison; Misael Santana-Rivera, 32, was sentenced to a year and three months in prison; Antonio R. Azpeitia, 40, was sentenced to a year and three months in prison; Ernest Shields, 42, was sentenced to two years in prison; and Diego Ninos, 30, was sentenced to two years in prison. All of the defendants had previously pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon by an inmate of the institution.
Each inmate admitted to possessing a handcrafted weapon, commonly referred to as a “shank.” This year, from March until June, the weapons were either observed or discovered through searches by staff members of the Federal Correctional Institution at McDowell. The objects were made out of a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, and wood, and were sharpened to a point at one end. The inmates all admitted that the shanks were designed and intended to be used as weapons.
These cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Assistant United States Attorney John File handled these prosecutions. Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber imposed the sentences.