WELCH, WV (WVNS) – An inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) McDowell was found with a weapon in his possession today, September 12, 2022.

Alex Barrera, 26, an inmate at FCI McDowell, pleaded guilty today to possession of a weapon while being an inmate of a federal prison.

According to court information, on April 5, 2022, an FCI McDowell staff member conducting a random pat-down search found a handcrafted weapon commonly known as a “shank” in the waistband of Barrera’s pants. The object was a piece of metal about six and a-half inches long, with one end sharpened to a point and the other end wrapped in cloth and a shoelace as a grip.

Barrera admitted that it was designed and intended to be used as a weapon.

Barrera is scheduled to be sentenced on December 5, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and congratulated the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.