Contraband gets inmates more prison time

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Two inmates caught with contraband in Texarkana’s Federal Correctional Institution were sentenced Tuesday to more time behind bars.

Scott McGarry, 42, was charged after a hand-made shank was found during a search of his cell Aug. 17, 2015, at Texarkana FCI. McGarry told investigators he fashioned the weapon from a piece of scrap metal using a grinder in the welding shop. McGarry claims he intended only to use the shank to fend off attacks from other inmates, according to court records filed at the time of his plea hearing in August of this year.

U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III sentenced McGarry to 21 months in federal prison Tuesday at a hearing in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. McGarry must serve that time consecutively to the sentence he was already serving. Prior to receiving the new term, McGarry was scheduled for release Dec. 10.

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Marcus Tarrin Ellis, 45, has spent most of the last 21 years in prison, according to court records filed in his case. Ellis was caught with synthetic marijuana Oct. 14, 2015, while locked up at Texarkana FCI. According to records, Ellis dropped the synthetic marijuana on the floor when a guard began patting him down in hopes the correctional officer wouldn’t notice.

Ellis received an additional eight-month sentence at a hearing Tuesday before Schroeder. Prior to Tuesday’s sentencing, Ellis’ scheduled date of release was April 20, 2024.

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