BEAUMONT, Texas – 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.
Public Information Officer/Law Enforcement Coordinator
U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Texas