Feds will prosecute Eisenberg for bank robbery, drug offenses
October 13. 2016 7:22PM
CONCORD — Federal prosecutors have taken over the bank robbery case of Leeland Eisenberg, 55, who in 2007 took hostages at Hillary Clinton's campaign office in Rochester.
Eisenberg is to be arraigned Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court on charges stemming from the Aug. 2 robbery of Citizens Bank at 875 Elm St. in Manchester.
He was federally indicted last week on one count of bank robbery and one count of possession of a controlled substance, cocaine.
Eisenberg, a man with a history of mental illness, was on parole for only two months when he allegedly robbed the bank last summer. Police said he claimed to have a gun when he handed a note demanding cash to the teller. He fled with a little more than $1,600.
When he was captured about seven hours later at the Valley Cemetery, about a half-mile away from the bank, he only had about $120 on him. Police said he also had 6.5 grams of crack cocaine, in 10 plastic baggies, in a pocket.
Originally, he was arraigned in 9th Circuit Court-Manchester and the case later was forwarded to Hillsborough County Superior Court. Eisenberg was being held in the Valley Street jail in Manchester when he was indicted. Because of the federal indictment, the state case against him will not go forward.
Robbing a federally insured bank is a crime under both state and federal law, which allowed federal prosecutors to take the case.
Eisenberg is a convicted rapist in Massachusetts. He first came to the attention of New Hampshire law enforcement on Nov. 30, 2007, when he used a fake bomb to hold six people hostage in a standoff at Clinton's presidential campaign headquarters in Rochester.
He told police his actions were a desperate move to receive psychiatric care he had been denied repeatedly.
Eisenberg was sentenced to three years in Strafford County jail. While jailed in November 2008, he got into a skirmish with fellow inmate Gary B. Dodds, a former congressional candidate convicted of faking his disappearance on the Spaulding Turnpike in 2006.
He served about two years in jail but ended up at the New Hampshire State Prison for violating probation when he cut off his ankle monitor and went on an alcohol and cocaine-fueled binge. He was given a 3- to 7-year prison sentence.
Eisenberg transitioned to a halfway house in Manchester in January 2013, but walked away four months later and was sent back to prison. He was paroled again in December 2014, but was returned to prison the following October for parole violations.
In June, he was paroled once again, and then in August was accused of robbing the bank.