ECI Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy
Admits Soliciting and Receiving Bribes in Exchange for Bringing Contraband into ECI
Baltimore, Maryland – Correctional Officer Thomas Leimbach, age 32, of Pocomoke City, Maryland, pleaded guilty on March 9, 2017, to his participation in a racketeering conspiracy operating at the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover, Maryland.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Postal Inspector in Charge Robert B. Wemyss of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division; Secretary Stephen T. Moyer of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to his plea agreement and court documents, the Eastern Correctional Institution (ECI) is the largest state prison in Maryland, operating near Westover, in Somerset County, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. During the conspiracy, Leimbach was a Correctional Officer (CO) at ECI.
Leimbach admitted that he accepted bribes from inmates to smuggle contraband into ECI, including narcotics, cell phones and tobacco. Leimbach worked with other COs to smuggle contraband into the prison. On June 5, 2014, law enforcement intercepted a call from an inmate to his sister, in which they discuss whether their mother “took care of that today.” That same day, Leimbach was arrested after the inmate’s mother delivered contraband to Leimbach. Leimbach was searched and had in his possession 75 Suboxone strips and $375 in cash.
Leimbach faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the racketeering conspiracy. U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar has scheduled sentencing for Leimbach on June 29, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
The U.S. Attorney expressed appreciation to Secretary Moyer whose staff initiated the ECI investigation and who has made the full resources of the DPSCS available to assist the three-year investigation. U.S. Attorney Rosenstein also recognized the efforts of the Maryland Prison Task Force which has brought together federal, state and local agencies in meetings to generate reforms in prison procedures and facilitate joint investigations of prison corruption and prison gangs. Mr. Rosenstein thanked the members of the Maryland Prison Task Force and the other agencies who assisted in this investigation and prosecution.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the Baltimore Police Department and Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leo J. Wise, Robert R. Harding, and Daniel C. Gardner, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.