Inmate pleads guilty to assaulting officer at federal prison in North Carolina

Published 8:32 am Monday, March 21, 2022

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An Arizona man pleaded guilty March 9, 2022 to assaulting a federal law enforcement officer at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina (“FMC Butner”), according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court documents, Michael Anthony Mata, 47, an inmate at FMC Butner at the time of the offense, struck the law enforcement officer in the face after the officer told him he was in an unauthorized area and asked him to return to his assigned housing unit.

“As a result of the contact, the officer suffered a fracture to his left orbital wall and required further medical care,” stated the release.

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Mata pleaded guilty to the sole count of the superseding indictment, 18 U.S.C. § 111(a)(1) and (b), and faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison when sentenced in the June 2022 term of court, according to the release.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after United States Magistrate Judge Robert T. Numbers II accepted the plea. The Federal Bureau of Prisons is investigating the case and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mallory Brooks Storus is prosecuting.