8 injured in riot at Virginia federal prison

LEE COUNTY, VA (WJHL) – Simultaneous fights that happened Wednesday night at the federal prison in Lee County, Va., resulted in injuries to eight inmates and a staffer, according to a prison spokesman.

Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Ed Ross said by phone that that fights between groups of inmates did take place at places throughout the prison. A BOP news release said multiple fights began around 6:20 p.m. Wednesday at the prison and involved multiple inmates.

“I wouldn’t describe it as a riot,” Ross said, adding that it did take staffers a while to contain the fights.

One staff member got what was described as a minor injury and eight inmates were taken to Wellmont Health System’s Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn.

Wellmont spokesperson Jim Wozniak said Wednesday night that some of the patients brought in from Lee were treated for stab wounds, cuts, broken teeth and other trauma.

Shortly after the fights began, emergency responders from all over Lee County were called to the prison. Ambulances and at least one helicopter were seen arriving at the prison. Some of those ambulances later arrived at the hospital in Kingsport.

Virginia State Police troopers also arrived at Lee to help secure the perimeter of the facility. Ross said the prison was secure at all times and the public was never in any danger. All inmates have been accounted for.

According to the BOP, Lee USP will “remain on limited operational status while the incident is investigated.”

Lee prison is located in Jonesville, Va., and houses about 1,570 high security male inmates.


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