Home News Camp Pendleton “brass thief” faces sentencing

Camp Pendleton “brass thief” faces sentencing

Slinging brass
A Marine fires an M249 squad automatic weapon at multiple targets during a live-fire training exercise.  Photo by Lance Cpl. Codey Underwood

A sentencing date is scheduled for a former Camp Pendleton employee who was convicted of theft and conspiracy to sell over $500,000 worth of brass casings, which had been removed from the base over two years.

Found guilty on Monday in a San Diego federal court, 40-year-old John Vescuso is scheduled for sentencing on June 13th of this year.

According to Times of San Diego, court evidence shows that Vescuso conspired with fellow employee Cecil Garr to remove brass casings and other scrap metals from the School of Infantry’s hazardous materials area, with intentions on selling the materials for $555,640 from April 2010 to March of 2012.

Prior to Vescuso’s trial, Garr pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal more than $500,000 worth of brass shell casings from Camp Pendleton.

While Vescuso paid Garr to remove brass casings from the HAZMAT lot using his privately owned vehicle, he also contracted an Orange County scrap company to place roll-off containers directly in the HAZMAT lot. Once full, the scrap company would pay Vescuso on-site and haul off the stolen metal.

The theft comes at a “substantial loss” to the Marine Corps.

“America’s warfighters deserve the very best to perform their jobs and the taxpayers expect nothing less,” said Chris Hendrickson, Special Agent in Charge of the Western Field Office of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

“Theft of USMC resources takes away precious dollars necessary for the dedicated American warfighter,” Hendrickson said. “This guilty verdict should serve as a warning for those intent on defrauding the U.S. military and American public that the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and our law enforcement partners will pursue these crimes relentlessly.”

Camp Pendleton is located in San Diego County, California, with a daytime population of around 100,000.

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