ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Stafford man pleaded guilty today to stealing nearly $100,000 worth of military equipment from the helicopter squadron responsible for the transportation of the President of the United States.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, from approximately September 2013 to April 2015, Branden Roy Baker, 34, stole at least 51 image intensifiers tubes and other night vision parts worth approximately $94,392 from Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1). Baker typically negotiated the sales of the stolen equipment via email after identifying potential buyers on eBay.com.
Baker pleaded guilty to theft of government property, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when sentenced on August 11. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Jeremy Gauthier, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Washington D.C. Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the plea. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Andres E. Vasquez and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael E. Rich are prosecuting the case.