Ex-sailor sentenced for stealing $146K in headsets

By SCOTT DAUGHERTY | The Virginian-Pilot | Published: June 13, 2013

NORFOLK, Va. — A former sailor was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days in jail on charges he stole more than $146,000 worth of tactical communication headsets from his old unit.

Max Jordan Ennis, 24, may serve the sentence on weekends. Upon his release, he will be on probation for three years.

Ennis, a former Petty Officer Second Class assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron Four, pleaded guilty last March to one count of theft of government property. According to court documents, he stole 216 MSA Sordin headsets between Nov. 19 and Dec. 10 from a storage unit at Joint Amphibious Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigated the theft. On Dec, 10, agents searched Ennis’ home in Virginia Beach and found 196 headsets. The other 20 were sold or otherwise disposed of, court documents said.

The headsets, which were still in their original packaging when they were stolen, were purchased new in 2007 and 2010 for about $678 each. The manufacturer currently sells them for more than $1,000 each.

State sentencing guidelines recommended Ennis – who has received an “other than honorable” discharge from the Navy – serve between 12 and 18 months in prison.

In court documents, Special Assistant United States Attorney Christopher George asked for a sentence near the low end of the guidelines, since this was his first brush with the law. Defense attorney Shawn Cline asked for Ennis to serve 6 months in jail and 6 months on house arrest, in light of the fact he is helping support two children and has ruined his Navy career.

Chief District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith handed down the final sentence. In addition to the jail time, she ordered Ennis to pay $20,678 in restitution.

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