SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Three civilian contractors who worked at Camp Pendleton were arraigned in federal court Thursday on charges they stole more than $3 million worth of medical equipment that was to have been shipped to Marine combat commands throughout the world.
Henry Bonilla, 25, Richard Navarro, 39, and Michael Tuisee, 34, made their first appearances in U.S. District Court since being indicted on charges of conspiracy, theft of government property and criminal forfeiture.
According to the six-count indictment, the defendants worked in warehouses run by 1st Medical Logistics Company, or MEDLOG, the unit responsible for maintaining medical equipment and shipping necessary medical items to combat forces.
By virtue of their employment as defense contractors, the defendants had access to sophisticated, expensive medical equipment stored at 1st MEDLOG warehouses.
Prosecutors allege that throughout 2012, the defendants repeatedly stole expensive medical equipment from 1st MEDLOG, transported it using their personal vehicles to other locations in Southern California, and sold the stolen items to medical equipment resellers.
According to the indictment, exchanges with resellers often took place at night, in parking lots near commercial businesses.
Each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison -- as well as mandatory restitution to the U.S. military -- if convicted.
The defendants will be back in court March 8.
A pedestrian was found dead on Interstate 5 around 2 a.m. Saturday morning. California Highway Patrol say a car struck and killed the man, leaving him to die in the freeway.
The San Diego Fire Department was called to terminal 1 at the San Diego International Airport, Saturday afternoon for reports of a fire.
A sailor has died after he was struck by a helicopter blade at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.
Slightly warmer and drier today after temperature records were broken overnight. Daytime temperatures expected to be 5- 10 degrees below seasonal norms.
The head of the federal agency that grants citizenship and immigration benefits said Friday that he had a message for anyone who considers his new mission statement anti-immigrant: "A thousand times no."