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Press Release

Former Bureau Of Prisons Chaplain Sentenced For Bribery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Ericjon Thomas, age 46, residing in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on January 13, 2022, to three years’ probation by United States District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani after pleading guilty to bribery of a public official.

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, Mr. Thomas, while employed as a prison chaplain at the United States Penitentiary at Canaan in Waymart, Pennsylvania, received money in exchange for smuggling items of contraband into the penitentiary, which included, among other things, cigarettes, a G-Shock watch, a pair of Gucci sunglasses, and pornographic magazines. His illegal conduct spanned a period of approximately 11 months. 

Thomas resigned his position as a Bureau of Prisons chaplain on April 26, 2017.  Thomas also forfeited $15,000 to the U.S. Marshal Forfeiture Fund prior to sentencing.

The matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Inspector General, Trenton, New Jersey.  Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski prosecuted the case.

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Updated January 19, 2022