Federal inmate dies while incarcerated in Tucson

Federal inmate dies while incarcerated in Tucson
Federal inmate Shelton Harris died after experiencing a medical emergency at the U.S. Penitentiary - Tucson. (Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons)

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - An inmate in the U.S. Penitentiary in Tucson died after he was discovered experiencing a medical emergency on Sunday, March 24.

According to information from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, 36-year-old Shelton Harris was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Harris was serving life in prison plus 60 years for murder, conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute drugs, possession of a firearm, and witness retaliation.

He had been at USP Tucson since Feb. 2016.

He was a member of a violent gang in Baltimore that committed crimes in part to promote rap music recordings and performances.

Another purpose of the criminal enterprise, according to a news release announcing his sentence, was to prevent and obstruct the arrest and prosecution of gang members through witness intimidation and disruption of court proceedings. Specifically, Harris wrote rap music lyrics which included threats to cooperating witnesses and discussed the facts of some of the murders. Harris also assaulted a person in jail whom he believed was a cooperating witness in the case.

At the time of his 2009 sentencing in 2009, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein called Harris “one of Baltimore’s most violent criminals ... who will never return to the streets.”

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