News and Press Releases

Richmond Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Truck With White House Audio and Visual Equipment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. – Eric Brown, 49, of Richmond, Va., pleaded guilty today to stealing a truck that contained audio and visual equipment belonging to the office of the President of the United States. 

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 the plea was accepted by United States District Judge John A. Gibney.

Brown was indicted on December 4, 2013, and pled guilty today to theft of government property.  He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 11, 2013.  As part of the plea agreement, the United States and Brown agree that a sentence of 7 years in prison is the appropriate disposition of this case.

            Court documents show that 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 equipment had a value of approximately $200,000.

            In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Brown admitted to telling others about his role in the theft, selling the laptop, and possessing audio visual equipment that still contained the Presidential seal.  Law enforcement officers also obtained cell phone site data that showed Brown was in the vicinity of the truck at the time it was stolen.  Some of the equipment was recovered from pawn shops in Prince Georges County, Maryland, and in Montgomery County, Maryland.

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

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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