Seven maintenance employees have pleaded not guilty to stealing scrap metal from the USS Midway Museum in San Diego.
According to U-T San Diego, the men entered pleas Aug. 27 to felony grand theft. Each could face up to three years in prison if convicted.
The USS Midway (CVB/CVA/CV-41) was an aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, the lead ship of her class. Commissioned a week after the end of World War II, the Midway was the largest ship in the world until 1955. She served for an unprecedented 47 years, saw action in the Vietnam War, and was the Persian Gulf flagship in 1991's Operation Desert Storm.
Decommissioned in 1992, she has since resided at the USS Midway Museum, in San Diego, and the only remaining U.S. aircraft carrier of the World War II era that is not an Essex-class aircraft carrier.
The men accused of stealing scrap from her were on a maintenance crew that worked on the historic aircraft carrier. Prosecutors claim that during remodeling, they recycled scrap metal but failed to turn over some $90,000 in proceeds to their employers.
One defense lawyer, Michael Berg, says the metal was retrieved by the men after it had been thrown out and he doesn't think there was any crime.
The USS Midway Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1992. The Museum opened in June 2004. Its mission is to preserve the historic USS Midway and the legacy of those who serve, inspire and educate future generations, and entertain museum guests.
Learn more about the USS Midway Museum at http://www.midway.org.