ALEXANDRIA, La: United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Johnny Layne, 31, Waynesboro, Va., and Paul Dimeo, 41, New Haven, Conn., were sentenced before U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell, to 240 months and 170 months in prison, respectively, for assaulting a federal officer. Layne was ordered to serve two years and Dimeo three years of supervised release following incarceration.
Surveillance video captured Dimeo and Layne, inmates at the U.S. Penitentiary in Pollock, La., on April 29, 2012, approach a federal correctional officer. Dimeo punched the officer in the head, and the officer fell to the ground. Both inmates then repeatedly punched, kicked and stomped the facial area of the fallen officer for more than a minute. Dimeo used safety-toe boots to conduct the attack. When the officer attempted to call for help on his radio, Dimeo yanked the radio from the officer's hands and threw it in a nearby trash can. Prison officials arrived moments later, stopped the fight, apprehended the inmates and transported the officer to the hospital. The officer sustained permanent facial damage and required extended medical care. The officer has since resumed duties at the prison.
A jury convicted Layne of the assault charge after a two-day trial ended on November 15, 2012. Dimeo pleaded guilty to the assault charge on November 9, 2012.
Layne was already serving a 25-year term in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and assault with a dangerous weapon. Dimeo was serving a 16-year prison term for multiple bank robberies and selling and distributing a controlled substance. Today's sentences will run consecutive to the time remaining on each defendant's prior terms of incarceration.
"Prison officials perform dangerous jobs and work in difficult environments," Finley said. "Assaulting them is a serious offense that we do not take lightly. This case should send a message to anyone who would do harm to those who work in correctional facilities that they will face prosecution and stiff jail sentences."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation-Alexandria, Louisiana Resident Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons conducted the investigation. Senior Litigation Counsel Joseph G. Jarzabek and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. France prosecuted the case.