BECKLEY, W.Va. – Two inmates who possessed weapons at the Federal Correctional Institution at Beckley pleaded guilty today, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Brandon Owens, 22, pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon by an inmate. In a separate prosecution, George Harper, 32, entered his guilty plea to the same federal weapons charge.
Owens admitted that on June 3, 2017, a Bureau of Prisons staff member located an object in the waist band of his pants. The object was a handcrafted weapon commonly referred to as a “shank.” The weapon was over four inches long, made of metal, sharpened to a point on one end, and outfitted with a piece of bed sheet on the other end to function as a handle.
In a separate prosecution, Harper admitted that on July 16, 2017, a Bureau of Prisons staff member saw him put something into his coffee cup. The staff member discovered that the object in the cup was a shank. The weapon was made of metal, over four inches long, and sharpened to a point on one end.
Owens and Harper each face up to five years in federal prison when they are sentenced on April 19, 2018.
U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the Federal Bureau of Prisons for their investigative work on these cases. Assistant United States Attorney John File is handling the prosecutions. United States District Judge Irene C. Berger presided over the plea hearings.