Nederland federal prison chaplain sentenced for bribery

Nederland federal prison chaplain sentenced for bribery

A 43-year-old federal prison chaplain has been sentenced for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston announced June 13.

Eric S. Patrick, of Nederland, Texas, pleaded guilty on Jan. 19 to bribery of a public official and was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison 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.

- U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Texas