News and Press Releases

Coast Guard Petty Officer Convicted of Stealing Government Property

Dec. 20, 2012

HOUSTON – U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Gavino Ortiz III, 32, of League City, pleaded guilty this morning to theft of government property, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

The charge against Ortiz resulting in today’s guilty plea was the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) and the Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General (DHS-OIG). At today’s hearing, Ortiz acknowledged that were this case to go to trial, the United States could prove that on Nov. 30, 2010, he utilized a government issued J.P. Morgan Chase purchase card to buy a $2,678.91 skydiving parachute with accessories for his personal benefit. The United States would also be able to prove that from July 2010 to August 2011, Ortiz used the purchase card to make personal financial gain purchases totaling approximately $230,468.
U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller, who accepted the guilty plea, has set sentencing for March 22, 2013, at which time he faces a maximum prison term of 10 years and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

The court has permitted Ortiz to be released on bond pending sentencing.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel C. Rodriguez.