Friday, September 17, 2010

Former National Guardsman who stole scraps of border fence sentenced

Arizona Daily Star
September 16, 2010
by Brian Pedersen

A former Air National Guardsman has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for stealing scrap metal from from a project to build a border fence in Arizona.

Wyoming resident Robert J. Kelley, 50, was found guilty in March of one count of theft of government property, a crime that could have sent him away for 10 years.

Kelley was part of a National Guard taskforce that helped build fences along the U.S. border with Mexico in 2007 and 2008. He was accused of stealing at least five truckloads of scrap metal, selling the materials for $11,450, according to U.S. District Court records.

Prosecutors say Kelley, who spent more than 25 years in the National Guard, used money from the sale of the scrap metal to buy things such as a handgun, a garage door opener, cowboy boots and tools.

In addition to the prison time Kelley was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cindy Jorgenson to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay nearly $43,000 in restitution, according to court records.

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