Richmond Man Pleads Guilty to Theft of Generators from American Military Base in Baghdad, Iraq
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 29, 2013|
RICHMOND, VA—Reuben Thomas, 34, of Richmond, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to stealing two electrical generators from the American Victory Base Complex in Baghdad, Iraq, on June 17, 2009.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Jeffrey C. Mazanec, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, made the announcement after the guilty plea before Magistrate Judge M. Hannah Lauck.
At the sentencing before the Honorable Robert E. Payne on November 21, 2013, Thomas is facing a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Thomas was a civilian employed as a Site Lead Property Book Manager by Honeywell Technologies Solutions Inc., an American company that had a military contract and subcontract with the Department of Defense (DOD) to assist in its mission at the Camp Victory Base Complex (VBC) in Bagdad, in the Republic of Iraq (Iraq).
According to documents filed with the court, a shortage of reliable electricity was a problem in Iraq during the period of occupation by coalition forces following the 2003 invasion. To fulfill its mission, DOD had many contracts to create and import into Iraq a wide variety of electrical generators. Forces opposing the United States also had the same electrical problems. This demand helped form an active black market for these electrical generators.
One such generator purchased by the DOD was a 1.1 Megawatt, approximately 20,000-pound diesel generator manufactured by F. G. Wilson, Model Number P1250P3/P1375E3. These generators were typically used as prime power in Iraq, meaning that they supplied continuous electrical power in places where there was no commercial power available. The price per generator was $176,055.
As part of the investigation into the June 17, 2009 theft of the two generators, it was determined that a rough terrain container handler (hereafter referred to as “retch”) was used to lift the generators from the sandy storage yard on to two flatbed trucks.
In the statement of facts, Thomas admitted that he participated in obtaining permission to borrow the retch and the escorting of the retch to the generator storage yard on the west side of the VBC. At the storage yard, the retch was used to steal the generators by loading them on to two flatbed trucks which transported the generators off the VBC. Thomas then escorted the retch back to the military facility on the east side of the VBC.
This case was the product of an investigation by the FBI and the Criminal Investigation Division of the United States Army. Assistant United States Attorney David T. Maguire and Department of Justice Trial Attorney J. P. Cooney are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.