United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners

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United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners
Location Springfield, Greene County, Missouri
Status Operational
Population 980[1]
Opened 1933[2]
Managed by Federal Bureau of Prisons
Warden Linda Sanders

The United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners (MCFP Springfield) is a United States federal prison in Springfield, Missouri which provides medical, mental health, and dental services to male offenders. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice.[3]


During the Great Depression, the people of Springfield, Missouri offered 620 acres (250 ha) of land to the federal government to build the prison. Congress authorized the building of the prison in 1930. The prison opened in 1933 under superintendent Dr. Marion R. King.[4] The land surrounding the prison was used by the prisoners for farming until 1966. In 1977, the federal government returned some of the original 620 acres back to the city.[4] Prison riots occurred in 1941, 1944 and 1959.[4]

Several political prisoners and spies arrested during World War II were held at MCFP Springfield for medical treatment. Anastasy Vonsyatsky served 3 years of a 5-year sentence there for conspiring to aid Hitler's Germany in violation of the Espionage Act before being released in 1946.[5] Robert Henry Best and Herbert John Burgman, who were sentenced to life in prison for treason in 1948 and 1949 for making propaganda broadcasts for the Nazis, served their sentences at this prison. Best died at MCFP Springfield in 1952, Burgman in 1953.[6][7][8]

Several high-profile Mafia Bosses received medical treatment at MCFP Springfield, including Joseph Bonanno of the Bonanno crime family, Vito Genovese and Vincent Gigante of the Genovese crime family, and perhaps the most well-known Mafia figure of all time, John Gotti of the Gambino crime family.[9] Genovese died at MCFP Springfield in 1969, Gotti in 2002, and Gigante in 2005. Other notable inmates held at MCFP Springfield for treatment include Robert Stroud, known as the "Birdman of Alcatraz," racecar driver Randy Lanier, drug trafficker Michael Riconosciuto, and "The Toxic Pharmacist" Robert Courtney.[10][11] Terrorists Omar Abdel Rahman and Jose Padilla were also held there for brief periods.

Notable incidents[edit]

On January 26, 2010, inmate Victor Castro-Rodriguez, 51, was found dead on the floor of his cell. Castro-Rodriguez originally was convicted of assault and resisting arrest in the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida and was being held at the MCFP because of a mental illness. MCFP inmates Wesley Paul Coonce, Jr., 34, and Charles Michael Hall, 43, were charged in connection with his death and on May 7, 2014, were convicted of one count of first-degree murder. Coonce was also found guilty of one count of murder by an inmate serving a life sentence. Both were sentenced to death on June 2, 2014.[12]

Notable inmates (current and former)[edit]

  • The following inmates are currently held at MCFP Springfield or served the majority of their sentence there.

†Inmates who were released from custody prior to 1982 are not listed on the Bureau of Prisons website.


Inmate Name Register Number Status Details
Loughner, Jared LeeJared Lee Loughner 15213-196 Serving 7 consecutive life sentences plus 140 years without parole. Perpetrator of the 2011 Tucson shooting in Arizona; pleaded guilty in 2012 to the attempted assassination of US Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of six people, including US District Judge John Roll.[13][14]
Abu Hamza al-Masri 67495-054 Serving a life sentence. Egyptian cleric and former associate of late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden; extradited from the UK in 2012; convicted in 2014 of masterminding the 1998 kidnapping of Westerners in Yemen and establishing a terrorist training camp in Oregon in 1999.[15]
Melvin Mayes 09891-000 Serving a life sentence. Lieutenant for El Rukn street gang leader Jeff Fort; convicted in absentia in 1987 of racketeering, drug trafficking and conspiring to commit terrorist attacks in the US on behalf of the Libyan government; captured in 1995 after eight years as a fugitive.[16]
Mohammad El-Mezain 92412-198 Currently serving a 15-year sentence; scheduled for release in 2021. Chief of Endowments for the Holy Land Foundation, once the largest Islamic charity in the US; convicted in 2008 of providing material support for terrorism for funneling money to the terrorist organization Hamas. Four co-conspirators were also sentenced to prison.[17]


Inmate Name Register Number Status Details
Hemant Lakhani 25753-050 Died in custody in 2013 while serving a 47-year sentence. British businessman; convicted in 2005 of providing material support for terrorism and other charges for attempting to sell shoulder-fired missiles to what he thought was a terrorist group intent on shooting down US airliners.[18][19]
Bonanno, JosephJoseph Bonanno 07255-008 Released from custody in 1986 after serving 14 months at MCFP Springfield. Boss of the Bonanno crime family in New York City from 1931 to the mid-1960s; imprisoned for refusing to testify in a federal racketeering trial of the leaders of the five New York Mafia families.[20][21]
Flynt, LarryLarry Flynt 78407-012 Released from custody in 1984 after serving 6 months at FMC Butner and MCFP Springfield. Publisher of the pornographic magazine Hustler and the center of several high-profile First Amendment cases; imprisoned for contempt of court for disrespecting a federal judge.[22]
Fountain, ClaytonClayton Fountain 89129-132 Died at MCFP Springfield in 2004 after serving 20 years there. Member of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang; murdered Correction Officer Robert Hoffman at the United States Penitentiary, Marion in 1983; held in solitary confinement until his death.[23]
Garrett Brock Trapnell 72021-158 Died at MCFP Springfield in 1993 after serving 13 months there. Serial bank robber and confidence man; convicted in 1973 of aircraft hijacking and in 1974 of armed robbery and conspiracy to commit kidnapping; spent most of his incarceration at United States Penitentiary, Marion, where he was implicated in two attempted escapes; transferred to MCFP after being diagnosed with emphysema.[24][25]
Young, HenriHenri Young Unlisted† Held at MCFP Springfield from 1948 to 1957. Bank robber and murderer; attempted to escape from Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in 1939; Young was the subject of the 1995 film Murder in the First.[26][27]
Lopez-Sanchez, Juan FranciscoJuan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez 14115-051 Held at MCFP Springfield before his deportation in 2009. Illegal Immigrant accused of the murder of Kathryn Steinle Kathryn Steinle in 2015 in San Francisco; following his reentry in 2009 he was placed in Victorville FCI and released to San Francisco authorities on a 20 year bench warrant.[28]

In popular culture[edit]

John Sacramoni, boss of the fictional Lupertazzi crime family in the hit HBO television series The Sopranos, dies at MCFP Springfield in the season 6 episode entitled "Stage 5".


Photos of the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield
US-MCFP entrance
The entrance to the medical center in August 2006. 
US-MCFP aerial view.
Aerial view of the medical center in October 2003. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Weekly Population Report". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Mary Bosworth (2002). The U.S. Federal Prison System. SAGE Publications. Retrieved August 17, 2010. 
  3. ^ "MCFP Springfield". Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners". Springfield Greene County Library. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Anastase Vonsiatsky and Marion Ream papers". National Endowment for the Humanities. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  6. ^ Stadler, Glen (Dec 27, 1952). "Portrait of a Traitor". Eugene Register-Guard. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Press, Associated (Dec 21, 1949). "Traitor Given Six to 20 Years". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Standard Certificate of Death - Herbert John Burgman" (PDF). The Division of Health of Missouri. December 28, 1953. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Raab, Selwyn (June 11, 2002). "John Gotti Dies in Prison at 61; Mafia Boss Relished the Spotlight". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Jury Says Guilty -- Man Claims Frame-Up But Faces 20-Year Term After Verdict On Seven Drug-Related Charges". The Seattle Times. January 19, 1992. Retrieved September 2, 2008. 
  11. ^ Virginia Lee McCullough (February 18, 2008). "Is puppet master Michael Riconosciuto pulling the strings in the Betty Cloer murder trial?". NewsMakingNews. Retrieved August 17, 2010. 
  12. ^ News-Leader Staff (3 June 2014). "Two Fed Med inmates sentenced to death in killing". Springfield News-Leader. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "Jared Lee Loughner Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges in Tucson Shooting". Federal Bureau of Investigation. August 7, 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  14. ^ Jacques Billeaud; Brian Skoloff (November 8, 2012). "Jared Loughner Sentenced To Life In Prison For Arizona Shooting That Wounded Gabrielle Giffords". Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  15. ^ Wald, Jonathan; Andrew Carey (5 October 2012). "Radical Islamist Abu Hamza al-Masri extradited to U.S.". CNN. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "El Rukn Member Gets 3 Life Terms In Racketeering Case". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  17. ^ "Federal Judge Hands Downs Sentences in Holy Land Foundation Case - OPA - Department of Justice". justice.gov. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  18. ^ Jonathan Wald; Maya Mantri (April 27, 2005). "Man convicted of missile plot". CNN. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  19. ^ "Terror Briton jailed for 47 years". BBC News. September 12, 2005. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  20. ^ Raab, Selwyn (May 12, 2002). "Joe Bonanno Dies; Mafia Leader, 97, Who Built Empire". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "Joseph Bonanno". A&E Television Networks. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  22. ^ Bruno, Anthony (2013). "Adventures of Larry Flynt". Turner Entertainment Networks. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  23. ^ W. Paul Jones (January 14, 2012). "Clayton A. Fountain: The Murderer Who Became a Monk". Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  24. ^ http://business.highbeam.com/435553/article-1G1-55027993/garrett-trapnell-55-charismatic-criminal
  25. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/16/magazine/16HIJACKERS.html?pagewanted=print&position=
  26. ^ "Henri Young 244-AZ". Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  27. ^ "Henri Young". Ocean View Publishing. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  28. ^ http://seangjerde.blogspot.com/2015/07/how-did-juan-francisco-lopez-sanchez.html=

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°10′39″N 93°19′29″W / 37.1776°N 93.3247°W / 37.1776; -93.3247