Coraopolis Man Pleads Guilty in Scheme to Steal Vehicles and Transport them Across State Lines
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania
PITTSBURGH – A resident of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to a charge of violating federal conspiracy law in connection with the theft of 24 vehicles, Acting United States Attorney Troy Rivetti announced today.
Bernard Washington, age 31, pleaded guilty to Count One of the Indictment before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.
In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that, from on or about May 30, 2021, until on or about Oct. 25, 2021, Washington conspired to commit offenses against the United States, namely, transportation and receipt of stolen vehicles. Washington admitted that he worked as a contractor for the Hertz Rent a Car at the Pittsburgh International Airport between May and July 2021. During that time, and for several months thereafter, Washington and co-conspirators accessed the Hertz parking lot and stole approximately 24 vehicles, at least three of which were transported across state lines from Pennsylvania to other states, including Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Washington and his co-conspirators provided these stolen vehicles to other individuals in exchange for payment. Washington also received at least two stolen vehicles from a co-conspirator, one of which had crossed state lines after being stolen.
Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for May 16, 2023. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorneys Karen Gal-Or and William Guappone are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading that led to the prosecution of Washington.
Updated February 23, 2023