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KITTERY, Maine (Tribune News Service) — A former employee of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is facing up to a decade in prison after he pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to theft of government property for swiping scrap metal from PNSY dumpsters.

Michael Gamash, 64, of Old Orchard Beach, took metal that belonged to the U.S. Navy and sold the metal to two area metal dealers, one in Arundel and the other in Portland, from about 2014 to 2016, according to court records. He was a civilian PNSY employee at the time.

During their investigation, authorities marked some pieces of scrap metal in the PNSY dumpsters to see if they could later identify metal that had been removed and sold, which is how they traced some transactions back to Gamash, who received about $60,000 for the metal he took, according to court records.

When interviewed by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), Gamash admitted that he had routinely taken scrap metal from several dumpsters for his personal profit despite knowing that it was illegal to do so, according to court records.

In addition to potential prison time, Gamash faces a fine of up to $250,000, plus up to three years of supervised release. But prosecutors said they will recommend that Gamash be sentenced to probation, crediting him for taking responsibility for his actions.

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors, according to an announcement from Acting U.S. Attorney Donald E. Clark. Gamash will be sentenced after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

(c)2021 Portsmouth Herald, N.H.

Visit Portsmouth Herald, N.H. at www.seacoastonline.com/portsmouthherald

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

A wooden gavel and block is seen inside the Senate Hart Building in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.
A wooden gavel and block is seen inside the Senate Hart Building in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes)

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