Prison chaplain admits taking bribes to smuggle tobacco


BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) - A federal prison chaplain has admitted taking bribes from inmates in return for smuggling cigarettes and tobacco into the Southeast Texas facility.

Eric S. Patrick of Nederland, Texas was chaplain at the maximum-security U.S. Penitentiary near Beaumont. He pleaded guilty Thursday before a federal magistrate in Beaumont to one count of bribery of a public official.

Court papers show he set up several fake postal boxes and charged inmates $1,500 to smuggle the contraband.

Federal agents seized two-gallon bags of tobacco and rolling papers from prison inmates in July 2015.

No sentencing date has been set. He faces up to 15 years in prison for his plea

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