RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A career criminal who stole a truck containing President Obama‘s audio equipment was sentenced Thursday to seven years in federal prison.
Sentencing guidelines called for a term of about three years, but Eric Brown of Richmond agreed to the longer sentence to avoid prosecution for 14 similar truck thefts in three localities. However, he could still face charges in Stafford County, which did not join Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties in the agreement.
Brown pleaded guilty in January to theft of government property.
“The theft of government property is a serious offense,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Roderick Young said in court. “It’s all the more serious when the property belongs to the White House Communications Agency.”
Young acknowledged that seven years seemed like a long sentence.
“No it’s not,” U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney interjected.
Later, the judge said: “If I had to sum up Mr. Brown’s character, it would be that he’s a thief.”
Young outlined Brown’s “nightmarishly long” criminal record — three dozen convictions for crimes including burglary, drug possession, identity fraud and grand theft auto stretching back more than three decades. Most recently, Brown operated “a pretty serious one-man car theft ring,” Gibney said.
In response to a question from Gibney, Brown said he targeted Ford F-350s and Ford F-450s because they were easy to steal. One of those trucks happened to be a 2005 Ford owned by the Defense Information Systems Agency and assigned to the White House, which was stolen from a Henrico County hotel parking lot on Oct. 16, 2011, a few days ahead of Obama’s visit to a suburban Richmond fire station to promote his jobs plan.
The truck had no White House markings on the exterior, but inside it was loaded with speakers, microphones, a teleprompter, a laptop computer, podiums and other items used in presidential appearances. The van was empty when it was recovered on the other side of town the next day, and some of the items were later recovered at Maryland pawn shops.
An FBI agent said in court papers that an informant told investigators that Brown had sold a Department of Defense laptop to another person, and that he saw in Brown’s possession several storage tubs containing audio equipment — some of it bearing the presidential seal. When the source confronted Brown about the theft, Brown said: “Man, I got that truck. I don’t do no playing.”
Brown apologized in court before Gibney imposed the sentence.
Defense attorney David Lett said the sentencing agreement “gives Mr. Brown the opportunity to start anew if he wants to do so.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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