A Havre de Grace man, who pleaded guilty to stealing tons of aluminum from Aberdeen Proving Ground when he was employed at the installation, was sentenced to a year of home detention by a federal judge Wednesday.
In U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Judge William D. Quarles Jr. sentenced Ronald Phillips Baker Sr., 62, to one year of home detention with electronic monitoring as part of five years' probation, according to Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for Maryland. Quarles also ordered Baker to pay restitution of $25,732.38.
According to Baker's earlier plea agreement, Baker worked at APG as the captain for a patrol boat on the upper Chesapeake Bay. He had a security clearance that authorized him to enter into secured areas at the installation.
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Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, USA
From September 13, 2010 to April 22, 2012, Baker stole 27,496 pounds of aluminum and other metals from an APG building, according to the statement of facts in the plea agreement. Typically, Baker would steal the aluminum after dark, if no vehicles were nearby.
Baker sold the stolen metal for $14,316.70 to recyclers at scrap value for personal gain. Baker only stopped stealing aluminum from the building after steel plates were placed over the aluminum which prevented access, prosecutors said.
On April 23, 2012, Baker stole approximately 2,740 pounds of fabricated aluminum outriggers, stored on pallets near another APG building. These outriggers were actively used to test specialized vehicles for the U.S. military.
Baker took the stolen outriggers to his house and sold them the next day to metal recyclers at scrap value for $1,510. The government places the value of the fabricated outriggers at $112,500, according to prosecutors. The outriggers were recovered from a local scrap dealer.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service - Mid-Atlantic Field Office; the Directorate of Emergency Services, U.S. Army Garrison, Aberdeen Proving Ground; and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In as release announcing the sentence, Rosenstein praised the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, APG's Directorate of Emergency Services and the FBI for their work in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joyce K. McDonald and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Marlaire prosecuted the case.
Three other men were also arrested, charged and pleaded guilty earlier this year to stealing tons of coiled copper wire from Aberdeen Proving Ground and selling it to metal recyclers. Prosecutors said the copper theft and sale scheme was unrelated to Baker's crimes.
Sentencing for those involved in the copper thefts, who include a man from Bel Air, one from North East and one from Pennsylvania, are scheduled in late January and early February, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office said Wednesday.