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Navy warehouse manager pleads guilty to stealing $2.5 million in goods

Posted at 2:20 PM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 17:20:47-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A former manager of the U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command Warehouse in San Diego pleaded guilty today to stealing items which he resold, netting him more than $2.5 million.

Herbert Gutierrez, 54, entered his plea to federal theft of government property for stealing items from the warehouse between July 2018 and April of this year and faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Federal prosecutors said Gutierrez 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 was arrested after allowing two men, who he did not know were working undercover, into the warehouse in April. The defendant loaded the undercover agents' vehicle with stolen property and was paid "thousands of dollars in cash'' for the property, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Gutierrez was paid in cash and via PayPal during the timeframe of the thefts, prosecutors said. A sentencing date was not disclosed by the U.S. Attorney's Office.