News and Press Releases

Richmond Man Arrested and Detained for Stealing Truck With White House Audio Equipment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. – Eric Brown, 48, of Richmond, Va., was detained today and accused of stealing a truck that contained the President of the United States’ audio equipment. 

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; David E. Beach, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service’s Washington Field Office; Jeffrey C. Mazanec, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; and D.A. Middleton, Chief of Police for the Henrico County Police Division, made the announcement after Brown’s detention hearing before M. Hannah Lauck, United States Magistrate Judge.

Brown was charged with theft of government property and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, if convicted.

            According to court documents, on Oct. 16, 2011, a truck containing audio equipment utilized by the President of the United States during public appearances was reported stolen in Henrico County.  The theft occurred at a hotel a few days prior to a speaking engagement that the President was attending in Central Virginia.  Video surveillance from the hotel depicted a dark colored SUV driving into the hotel lot.  Shortly thereafter, the truck containing the President’s equipment was driven off of the lot.  Immediately thereafter, a dark colored SUV followed the truck containing the President’s equipment off of the hotel lot.  Court documents revealed the truck contained a laptop computer, and other audio visual equipment bearing the Presidential seal.

            The complaint alleges that Brown boasted of his role in the theft, sold the laptop, and possessed audio visual equipment that still contained the Presidential seal.  Law enforcement also obtained cell phone site data that allegedly showed Brown was in the vicinity of the truck at the time it was stolen.

The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI’s Richmond Field Office and the Henrico County Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Roderick C. Young is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

Criminal complaints are only charges and not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

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