United States District Judge Alan Albright hass sentenced 32-year-old Devito Dembinski to 413 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release after he admitted to beating up and threatening an accused co-conspirator while being held for trial in a meth case.

He was charged with obstruction of justice and retaliating against a witness, accused of punching the alleged co-conspirator multiple times in the face, resulting in broken bones and other injuries.

A statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas said that during subsequent recorded telephone conversations from inside the detention facility, Dembinsky bragged to two different individuals that he had assaulted the “snitch” and “rat” because he believed the individual agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and be a witness against him.

They were both there on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver at least 50 grams of Methamphetamine.

. “The lengthy sentence handed down today sends a clear message to those who poison our communities with dangerous drugs, and then attempt to avoid accountability for their criminal conduct by threatening or harming witnesses,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Combs. “Obstruction of Justice strikes at the foundation of our criminal justice system and will not be tolerated.”

The FBI and the Temple Police Department investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Smith-Burris prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.