Skip to main content
Press Release

Shipyard Contractor Pleads Guilty to Stealing Nearly $600,000 Worth of Computer Equipment from the U.S. Navy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California


SAN DIEGO – Ernesto Saldivar, a civilian contractor at General Dynamics NASSCO who was part of the shipyards’ modernization efforts, pleaded guilty today to stealing nearly $600,000 worth of computer equipment from three U.S. Navy ships.

According to Saldivar’s plea agreement, from November 2022 to August 2023, he stole hundreds of items, such as hard drives and laptops, from declassified areas on ships undergoing maintenance. Saldivar was selling the stolen items, including two hard drives containing military communications, on eBay. The affected ships included the USS Pinckney, USS Curtis Wilbur and USS Spruance.

Saldivar admitted in his plea agreement that the total aggregate value of the stolen items was $596,997.53, almost all of which he will owe the United States government in restitution. The defendant also admitted to receiving $2,584.98 in payments from eBay sales of the stolen items.

“Stealing from our military doesn’t just hurt the taxpayer, it puts our national security and service members at risk,” said U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath. “The military relies heavily on civilian support, and we will do our part to ensure our service members can trust the civilians standing by their side.”  

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Goldwasser and Michelle Wasserman. 

DEFENDANT                                               Case Number 24CR532-JAH                                  

Ernesto Saldivar                                             Age: 30                                   San Diego, CA


Theft of Government Property – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 641

Maximum penalty: Ten years in prison and $250,000 fine


Naval Criminal Investigative Service

If you have information regarding fraud, waste, or abuse relating to Department of Defense personnel or operations, please contact the DoD Hotline at 800-424-9098.


Media Relations Director Kelly Thornton (619) 546-9726 or

Updated March 19, 2024

Press Release Number: CAS24=0318-Saldivar