SAN DIEGO (CN) - Three civilian contractors pleaded guilty to stealing $3 million worth of medical equipment from Camp Pendleton, which was intended to treat injured Marines overseas.
Facing up to 5 years in prison are Henry Bonilla, 25, of Pomona; Richard Navarro, 39, of Fallbrook; and Michael Tuisee, 34, of Oceanside.
They worked in warehouses run by 1st Medical Logistics Company aka 1st MEDLOG at Camp Pendleton, the Marines' largest West Coast base.
"First MEDLOG is the unit responsible for maintaining medical equipment and shipping necessary medical items to combat forces throughout the world," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement announcing the guilty please. "By virtue of their employment as defense contractors, the defendants had access to sophisticated, expensive medical equipment stored at 1st MEDLOG warehouses. In their plea agreements and at today's (Thursday) hearing, each defendant admitted to participating in a conspiracy to steal medical equipment from 1st MEDLOG, including ultrasound machines, ventilators, hydroclaves, defibrillators, headlights, and laryngoscopes. The defendants repeatedly stole these costly medical items, loaded them into their personal vehicles, and surreptitiously sold them to medical equipment resellers - often meeting with customers during nighttime rendezvous in secluded parking lots. The defendants admitted that the combined value of the stolen medical equipment exceeded $3 million."
All three will be sentenced on May 24 for conspiring to steal government property. In addition to prison, they can expect to be ordered to pay restitution, and each could be fined up to $250,000.