A former Marine staff sergeant has found himself in hot water after pleading to guilty to stealing nearly $100,000 worth of equipment from Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1), based out of Quantico, Virginia.
Known as “Marine One,” the unit is responsible for the transportation of the President and Vice President of the United States, as well as dignitaries and other VIPs.
34-year-old Brandon Roy Baker of Strafford, Virginia, admitted to authorities to stealing a plethora of night vision equipment, as well as 51 image intensifier tubes, between September 2013 and April 2015.
He was ordered on Tuesday to pay full restitutions of the $100,000 at the rate of $100 per month by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema. At that rate, it could take Baker more than 83 years to pay back the amount of what he stole.
The image intensifier tubes are highly valuable components that allow equipment such as night vision devices to function properly. Baker took this stolen equipment and then advertised it on the popular web market eBay, using the money transfer service PayPal to broker the transactions.
A staff sergeant in the Marine Corps Aviation community, who wished to remain unidentified, said that while it may not sound like a lot, the little things add up quickly.
“Taking things like flight suits and other items would be too easy,” the former staff sergeant said. “It sounds like the items he took were small in nature and easily concealed. I don’t imagine it’s the first time something like this has happened.”
Baker has pled guilty to theft of government property and will be sentenced on August 11.
He could face a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison, although he will more than likely receive a less severe punishment overall.