Delmas Dingess Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls on January 26, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, DELMAS DINGESS, a 25-year-old resident of Great Falls, pled guilty to theft of government property. Sentencing is set for April 29, 2010.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica T. Fehr, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
From December 29, 2006, until March 6, 2007, DINGESS was a Senior Airman, rank of E-4, in the United States Air Force (USAF). DINGESS was stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls. As part of his military duties, DINGESS was assigned to his unit's equipment locker. DINGESS was responsible for receiving inventory for the unit and disbursing equipment out to the field. Because of his position, DINGESS was able to steal items from his USAF unit's inventory without authorization and without being discovered. DINGESS sold the items he had stolen from the USAF on the commercial website, eBay, utilizing the payment service, Paypal.
The majority of the items DINGESS stole from the USAF were small items like flood lenses, compasses and head/helmet mounts for equipment. Along with all the smaller items, DINGESS stole and sold Night Vision Goggles (NVG), NVG head mounts, and a Vital 2 Laser Aiming System. The larger items have been recovered by law enforcement after being identified as USAF equipment based on their serial numbers.
DINGESS was interviewed by law enforcement regarding the items missing from his unit's inventory. DINGESS confessed to stealing and reselling $42,222.32 worth of USAF equipment. DINGESS' confession was corroborated by the items identified as missing by the USAF and the eBay and Paypal records documenting DINGESS' sales, all of which were obtained during the investigation.
DINGESS faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.