A former manager of the U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command Warehouse in San Diego has been sentenced to two years in federal custody for stealing more than $2.5 million in goods from his workplace and reselling the items to various buyers.
Herbert Gutierrez, 54, a 20-year veteran of the Navy, pleaded guilty last year to federal theft of government property for stealing items from the warehouse between July 2018 and April 2019, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors said Gutierrez began committing the thefts a few months after he started working at the warehouse.
He would advertise items from the warehouse on sales websites like eBay, then allow others into the Military Sealift Command warehouse yard — both during and after work hours — to load the property onto trucks.
The stolen property included more than $1 million in copper nickel tubing and “numerous Caterpillar parts” of unknown value, according to prosecutors, who said he also created false paperwork to hide the thefts.
Gutierrez also allowed two men, who he did not know were working undercover, into the warehouse in April 2019. The defendant loaded the undercover agents’ vehicle with stolen property and was paid “thousands of dollars in cash” for the items, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
On Monday, he was sentenced to 24 months in prison, and was ordered to pay $2,536,293.63 — the total aggregate value of the stolen items — in restitution to the Navy.
“This defendant was running a massive and brazen scheme that fleeced the Navy of millions of dollars,” U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said. “This conduct was outrageous and illegal, and he is now appropriately going to prison for it.”
–City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: