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Inmate in federal prison in North Carolina convicted of participating in mutiny

A federal jury convicted a federal inmate housed at the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, North Carolina (“FCI Butner I”) with participating in a mutiny inside a federal penal institution, according to an April 28 press release from the Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, on April 22, 2020, Rene Moreno-Castillo, an inmate at FCI Butner I, pulled a fire extinguisher from the wall during an open disagreement with staff about housing assignments and sprayed them and the housing unit with its chemical contents.

“After spraying the staff, inmate Moreno-Castillo barricaded the unit door with lockers which he ripped from the wall and slid against the door, tied the door shut with a bed sheet, and continued to spray the fire extinguisher, filling the unit with the thick powder contents,” stated the release. “FCI Butner I staff, including a tactical Complex-wide Quick Response Force, were emergently called to the scene to regain control of the unit.

“At the time of the mutiny, FCI Butner I staff were working tirelessly to ensure the safe and effective incarceration of inmates housed in the Butner Complex, while simultaneously managing the damaging effects of the global COVID-19 crisis within the walls of a federal prison,” the release continued.

“Moreno-Castillo has been convicted of multiple federal crimes including being an alien in the United States after deportation having been previously convicted of an aggravated felony, possession with the intent to distribute more than 100 kilos of marijuana and another conviction for being an alien unlawfully in the United States,” stated the release.

Moreno-Castillo faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when sentenced.

G. Norman Acker III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle accepted the verdict. Federal Bureau of Prisons officials investigated the case and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mallory Brooks Storus and Genna Petre prosecuted.

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