Final Member of Government-Property Theft Conspiracy Pleads Guilty
Group Stole Supplies from the National Guard
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA -- A Gladstone, Va., man involved in a conspiracy to steal government property from the Virginia Army National Guard pled guilty this morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Raleigh Kenneth Worley, 42, of Gladstone, Va., pleaded guilty this morning to one count of conspiring to steal or embezzle government property worth more than $1,000. He is the last of five men to be convicted in a scheme in which members of an Army National Guard unit based in Charlottesville, Virginia, admitted to stealing weapons-mountable flashlights the United States government had issued to the National Guard.
Others convicted as part of the scheme were John R. Watkins, James T. Creamer, Raleigh L. Anderson, and Michael W. Tutwiler. Worley and Watkins were a Staff Sergeants in the National Guard. Creamer and Anderson were Sergeants in the National Guard. Tutwiler was a Specialist in the National Guard.
“When the members of this conspiracy stole property that was meant for use in war, they betrayed the trust of the United States, the Virginia Army National Guard, and the citizens they took an oath to protect. The United States will vigorously prosecute public employees who act as if they are above the law,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today.
The defendants have all admitted that after returning from a deployment in Iraq, between April 2008 and September 2009, they agreed to take weapons-mountable lights and use, sell, or barter them for their own gain. Tutwiler also admitted to possessing an illegal machinegun in an unrelated incident.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the Department of Defense; the Virginia State Police; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Virginia Army National Guard; and the Staunton Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Ramin Fatehi is prosecuting the case for the United States.