Former federal prison chaplain sentenced to federal prison for smuggling tobacco into prison

BEAUMONT - A former federal prison chaplain from Nederland was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison Tuesday for smuggling tobacco and cigarettes into the federal prison in Beaumont.

From the U.S. Attorney's Office...

A 43-year-old federal prison chaplain has been sentenced for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.

Eric S. Patrick, of Nederland, Texas, pleaded guilty on Jan. 19, 2017, to bribery of a public official and was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.

According to information presented in court, in July 2015, investigators at the U.S. Penitentiary in Beaumont, Texas seized two gallon bags of tobacco and rolling papers from inmates at the prison.

An investigation revealed that Patrick, while employed by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons as a chaplain at the prison, was smuggling tobacco and cigarettes into the prison for inmates.

To facilitate the scheme, Patrick set up several scam post office boxes and charged inmates $1,500 in each instance. 

This case was investigated by the Department of Justice – Office of the Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Craft.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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