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Published: Thursday, 5/17/2007

Noe moves to low-security U.S. prison near family in Florida

BLADE STAFF

From the Lucas County jail to Michigan, to Oklahoma, to Georgia, to South Carolina, back to Georgia, and to Florida.

The prison odyssey of Tom Noe appears to be over, at least until his 27-month federal sentence is finished. The sentence is for violating federal campaign finance law. Noe illegally poured more than $45,000 into the re-election campaign of President Bush in 2003.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has transported Noe from the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta to a low-security prison in Coleman, Fla., about 50 miles northwest of Orlando, according to the agency's Web site.

Noe, 52, briefly had been held in a minimum-security camp at the federal prison in Edgefield, S.C., but his wife, Bernadette, said he was moved into solitary confinement because his designation was changed, Ms. Noe said. The federal prison system apparently didn't take into account his conviction in state court, she said.

Noe, a former Toledo-area coin dealer and past chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, has been sentenced to serve 18 years in an Ohio prison on his conviction for stealing millions of dollars from the coin funds he managed for the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. He has filed a notice of appeal.

Noe's attorney last year had requested that he be sent to a federal prison in Florida to make it easier for his wife and children - who live in a $3 million oceanfront home in the Florida Keys - to visit him.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons lists Noe's projected release date as Oct. 28, 2008.

Ohio prison officials have said that after Noe completes his federal sentence, he will be shipped to an Ohio prison to serve his 18-year sentence.

The Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman consists of four prisons, including FCI Coleman Low, which houses male inmates. The Federal Bureau of Prisons' Web site states that FCI Coleman-Low is "in urgent need of correctional officers to fill vacant positions."

Inmates at the prison include Danny Ferrer, a Florida man who is serving a six-year sentence for pleading guilty to violating copyright law by selling pirated Autodesk, Adobe Systems, and Macromedia software for millions of dollars.

The FBI has said Ferrer used his profits to buy a Lamborghini, a Hummer, two Corvettes, two Cessna planes, a helicopter, a motor boat, and an ambulance, according to published reports.



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