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Ex-Navy SEAL gets 16 months for stealing munitions

NORFOLK, Va. — A former Navy SEAL was sentenced Friday to 16 months in federal prison on charges he stole smoke grenades, gas masks and ammunition from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach.

David K. Becker — who received an "other than honorable" discharge in April — pleaded guilty earlier this year in U.S. District Court to one count of theft of government property.

Becker, 24, now of Ohio, was arrested last December after selling the ordnance to an undercover agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. According to court documents, a confidential informant had tipped agents to the fact Becker was selling smoke grenades and ammunition on an outdoor equipment auction website.

The agents set up a sting. They purchased the grenades from Becker and then a few days later, purchased the gas masks and ammunition. Becker admitted that he had stolen the items from his Virginia Beach SEAL unit.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher A. George asked Friday for a sentence within federal guidelines — 10 to 16 months in this case. He noted Becker was stealing military ordnance and offering to sell them to anyone with money.

Vincent DePascale, Becker's attorney, countered that his client had no prior criminal record and already lost his job and veteran's benefits. He asked for no jail time. U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Beach Smith said Becker deserved to spend some time in prison.

"There is no reason for you to have done this other than greed," she said. Smith gave him 45 days to turn himself in.
 

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