Federal Correctional Institution, Petersburg

Coordinates: 37°18′15″N 77°20′48″W / 37.30417°N 77.34667°W / 37.30417; -77.34667
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Federal Correctional Institution, Petersburg
LocationPrince George County,
near Hopewell, Virginia
Security classLow- and medium-security (with minimum-security prison camp)
Population1,111 at Low; 1,595 at Medium; and 293 at minimum-security camp
Managed byFederal Bureau of Prisons

The Federal Correctional Institution, Petersburg (FCI Petersburg) is a United States federal prison for low- and medium-security male inmates. It is part of the Petersburg Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) in Virginia and operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice. An adjacent satellite prison camp houses minimum-security male offenders. FCI Petersburg consists of two facilities:

  • Federal Correctional Institution, Petersburg Low: a low-security facility
  • Federal Correctional Institution, Petersburg Medium: a medium-security facility

FCC Petersburg is located in Prince George County, 25 miles southeast of Richmond, Virginia, the state capital.[1] It lies just west of the independent city of Hopewell, Virginia.

Facility and programs[edit]

FCI Petersburg offers numerous educational opportunities, including a GED Program, English as-a-Second Language, Occupational Education, Post-Secondary Education, Adult Continuing Education, as well as Parenting Classes and Release Preparation. The facility also has a Law Library which compliant inmates may use periodically.

FCI Petersburg is one of several federal prison facilities which offer sex offender treatment programs. The Sex Offender Management Program (SOMP) at FCI Petersburg was established to assist in effectively managing the Bureau of Prisons' population of offenders with sex offense histories. The program consists of assessment/evaluation, treatment, and monitoring/managing components. The assessment/evaluation component of SOMP is non-voluntary because it assists correctional staff in determining whether the inmate is likely to engage in risk relevant behavior while incarcerated. The remaining elements of the program are voluntary.[2]

Notable incidents[edit]

In 2008, a joint investigation conducted by the FBI and the Bureau of Prisons found that an inmate at FCI Petersburg, John Leighnor, was coordinating an ongoing identity-theft scheme from the facility. Leighnor was already serving a 7-year-sentence dating from a conviction in 2003 for another identity-theft scheme. Armed with the names of his victims, Leighnor drafted correspondence to be sent by mail to various governmental agencies and other organizations to obtain official documentation for his targets. In connection with each mailing, Leighnor either claimed that he was the person he was victimizing or that he was a lawyer, advocate, or other designated representative for a targeted victim. He requested the victim's personal documentation, such as birth certificates, family information, undergraduate transcripts, enrollment applications, and death certificates. Leighnor directed that all return correspondence be sent to his attention at various addresses, including: "Dept. 14375-077, P.O. Box 1000, Petersburg, Virginia 23804." He concealed the fact that the correspondence would be delivered to him at FCI Petersburg and that "14375-077" was his federal prisoner identification number.

Upon receiving the victim's identifying information, Leighnor planned to obtain passports, birth certificates, driver's licenses, and other identification documents for himself in the victims' names, to be used in traveling and obtaining funds from financial institutions and individuals. Leighnor also possessed documents and made statements to other inmates at FCI Petersburg about his plans to file claims with the Claims Resolution Tribunal (the entity charged with handling claims on Swiss bank accounts believed to have been abandoned by victims of Nazi persecution during World War II), in order to gain control of abandoned funds in the Swiss bank accounts connected to Holocaust victims.

In 2009, Leighnor was sentenced to an additional 8 years in prison for mail fraud and identity theft related to the FCI Petersburg scheme. He was held at the Federal Correctional Institution, Fort Dix, a low-security facility in New Jersey. He was released in 2016 after completing his sentence.[3][4]

A joint investigation conducted by the FBI and the Department of Justice Inspector General found that a correction officer at FCC Petersburg, Keif Jackson, conspired with inmate Walter Brooks to smuggle heroin inside the facility. In 2008, Brooks recruited Jackson to smuggle heroin to him in the prison. At Brooks' request, Officer Jackson contacted acquaintances of Brooks. He met with them on several occasions to obtain heroin, and smuggled the drugs into the prison. After Brooks was released from FCC Petersburg in 2010, Brooks began supplying heroin to Jackson to smuggle into the prison. Approximately one year later, on Oct. 10, 2011, Jackson was stopped by the police on his way to work. Upon searching his vehicle, officers recovered a package containing heroin.[5]

Jackson entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute heroin in March 2012 and was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

In September 2012, a federal jury convicted Brooks, 57, of conspiracy to provide contraband to inmates, conspiracy to distribute heroin, five counts of providing contraband to inmates, and three counts of use of a communication facility to commit a felony.[6]

Notable inmates (current and former)[edit]

Inmate Name Register Number Status Details
Richard Chandler 44076-074 Serving a 25-year sentence; scheduled for release in 2032.[7] Former Tennessee police officer; arrested in the largest child pornography prosecution in US history; pleaded guilty in 2012 to contributing to "Dreamboard," a website whose members produced and traded images and videos of adults molesting children.[8][9]
Al Clark 26147-050 Released on November 10, 2004 Clark was sentenced to four months in prison and was incarcerated at Petersburg for a fraudulent scheme involving baseball memorabilia.[10][11]
Mohamed Elshinawy 60500-037 Serving a 20-year sentence, scheduled for release in 2032. Currently at FTC Oklahoma City. Convicted in 2018 of providing material support to ISIS.
Sharpe James 28791-050 Released from custody in 2010 after serving 18 months.[12] Mayor of Newark, New Jersey from 1986 to 2006; convicted of fraud in 2008 for selling city properties to his girlfriend, Tamika Riley, for a fraction of their actual cost.[13][14]
David A. Kaye 71353-083 Released from custody in 2016 after serving 6 years. Jewish rabbi; convicted in 2006 of coercion and traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct for trying to solicit sex from a 13-year-old boy over the Internet in 2005; featured on the Dateline NBC series To Catch a Predator.[15]
Roger Loughry, Sr. 43691-037 Serving a 30-year sentence; scheduled for release in 2034. Now at FCI Butner.[16] Administrator of "The Cache," an online bulletin board where hundreds of child pornographers from around the world shared images and videos of children being molested; convicted in 2013 of advertising and distributing child pornography.[17][18]
Paul Nicholas Miller 32607-509 Was serving a 41-month sentence. Released from custody on July 3, 2023. American far-right political commentator and streamer, known online as 'GypsyCrusader'. Miller is best known for his cosplays of various characters, most notably Joker. Miller was indicted on charges of possessing a firearm as convicted felon and possession of unregistered rifle on February 25, 2021, stemming from an incident that took place in January 2018.[19]
Frank Ronghi 16788-045 Serving a life sentence. Transferred from the United States Disciplinary Barracks. Former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant and war criminal who raped and murdered 10-year-old Merita Shabiu in Kosovo. Also boasted of committed rapes in Haiti and Saudi Arabia, and other murders in Iraq and Kuwait during the Gulf War, albeit none of this could be confirmed.[20][21]
Eric Justin Toth 32508-016 Serving a 25-year sentence; scheduled for release in 2034. Now at FCI Fort Dix. Former Washington, D.C., elementary school teacher and FBI Ten Most Wanted fugitive; apprehended in Nicaragua in 2013 after five years on the run; pleaded guilty in 2013 to production of child pornography.[22][23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FCI Petersburg Low". Federal Bureau of Prisons.
  2. ^ "Inmate Orientation Handbook: FCC Petersburg" (PDF). Federal Bureau of Prisons. US Department of Justice. October 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Petersburg Inmate Sentenced to 102 Months for Fraud". Federal Bureau of Investigation. March 4, 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Inmate Locator - John Kenneth Leighnor, Jr". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  5. ^ Green, Frank (April 13, 2012). "Former federal prison inmate guilty in heroin smuggling scheme". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Former Inmate, Correctional Officer Sentenced For Smuggling Heroin into FCC Petersburg" (PDF). US Department of Justice. September 13, 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  7. ^ "United States of America, Plaintiff - Appellee v. Richard Chandler, Defendant - Appellant" (PDF). United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. October 4, 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  8. ^ Breeding, Kacie (January 5, 2012). "Ex-Kingsport officer pleads guilty to child porn charge". Kingsport News-Times (TN). Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  9. ^ Taylor, Tarah (April 20, 2012). "Former Kingsport Police Officer Sentenced To 35 Years In Prison". WCYB Kingsport (TN). Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  10. ^ Franklin, Paul (20 May 2014). "Ex-Umpire Al Clark uses his experiences to help others". The Times. NJ.com. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  11. ^ D'Alessandro, Dave (5 July 2014). "D'Alessandro: Al Clark, Jersey guy and former American League umpire, looks back without regret". Star-Ledger. NJ.com. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  12. ^ Giambusso, David (April 6, 2010). "Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James is released from Virginia prison". nj.com. New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  13. ^ Alan Feuer; Nate Schweber (July 30, 2008). "Former Newark Mayor Is Sentenced to 27 Months". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  14. ^ Henry, Samantha (April 7, 2010). "Sharpe James Leaves Prison: Ex-Newark Mayor Released, Welcomed Home By Hundreds". Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  15. ^ Markon, Jerry (December 2, 2006). "Rabbi Sentenced In Internet Sex Sting". Washington Post. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  16. ^ "Loughry v. Campbell". FindACase. LRC, Inc. December 5, 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  17. ^ Associated Press (February 1, 2013). "Maryland man sentenced to 30 years in Ind. on charges he helped run child porn sharing website". Fox News. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  18. ^ Wilson, Charles (February 1, 2013). "Maryland Man Sentenced for Role in Child Porn Ring". ABC News. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  19. ^ "Florida Man Who Called for Race-Based Civil War Sentenced on Multiple Firearms Offenses". www.justice.gov. 2021-09-28. Retrieved 2021-11-05.
  20. ^ "U.S. Soldier Gets Life for Killing Kosovo Girl". ABC News. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  21. ^ "5467: U.S. soldier investigated on rape of girls in Haiti (fwd)". faculty.webster.edu. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  22. ^ Nelson, Steven (April 23, 2013). "Eric Justin Toth, Alleged Child Pornographer and FBI 'Most Wanted' Fugitive, Caught in Nicaragua". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  23. ^ "Former Teacher Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Production of Child Pornography and Other Charges". Federal Bureau of Investigation. March 11, 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.

37°18′15″N 77°20′48″W / 37.30417°N 77.34667°W / 37.30417; -77.34667