FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 16, 2011
For Information Contact:
District Man Sentenced to 7 ½ Years in Prison
For Burglary of D.C. Government Building, Other Charges
- Contract Employee Broke into Government Offices During New Year’s Holidays-
WASHINGTON - Anthony T. Benson, 50, was sentenced today to a total of 7 ½ years in prison for crimes that included the burglary of a District of Columbia government building during last year’s December holidays, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Benson, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty in September 2011 to charges of second degree burglary, attempted theft, and violating the Bail Reform Act. He was sentenced by the Honorable Florence Pan in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
According to the government’s evidence, on December 30, 2010, at approximately 11:40 p.m., Benson and a second individual broke into the offices of the District of Columbia’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), in the 1900 block of Massachusetts Avenue SE. Benson was a contract employee with DCRA from the middle of 2010 through the time of the burglary. The DCRA offices were closed for the New Year’s holiday.
Benson and his accomplice used Benson’s key card to gain entry to the building, and forced their way into the locked equipment room and stole chainsaws, skill saws, and other tools belonging to the D.C. government. They also took the keys to a 2002 Chevy pickup truck, put the equipment in the truck, and left in the vehicle. They returned the next night, New Year’s Eve, and took more equipment. The pickup truck was later discovered burned out and destroyed.
Employees discovered the break-in after the holidays and found that Benson was absent from work. Benson subsequently gave a written statement admitting to what took place. Investigators recovered the card-key access logs which confirmed that Benson had keyed in multiple times on the evenings of December 30 and 31. They also recovered surveillance videos of the suspects entering the building during the same time-frame.
During the course of the judicial proceedings, Benson skipped court and was re-arrested approximately two months later. His accomplice has not been caught.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the District of Columbia Protective Services Police, especially Investigator Craig Leo. He also praised the assistance of Paralegal Specialist Tamaya Reid for her work in preparing the case. Finally, he expressed his appreciation to Assistant U.S. Attorney Trevor N. McFadden of the First District Unit of the Superior Court Felony Major Crimes Section, who investigated and indicted the case.