Naval Engineer and 3 Others Charged After Allegedly Stealing and Selling US Military Weapons Documents
Some of those drawings and manuals were specifically labeled with International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) distribution warnings related to export control and destruction.
Federal authorities arrested four people, including a naval engineer, after they allegedly found that they were involved in the selling and purchasing of U.S. Navy downloaded technical drawings and manuals related to U.S. military weapons and systems.
An investigation started when military investigators began looking into claims that Mark Fitting, a 53-year-old Naval engineer in New Jersey, was interfering with the quality assurance process for aircraft canopies intended for use in U.S. military aircraft,” according to a court affidavit.
Their investigation allegedly found at least two dozen emails sent from Fitting to his former roommate, 54-year-old Melony Erice, that contained the government-owned drawings and manuals.
"Some of those drawings and manuals were specifically labeled with International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) distribution warnings related to export control and destruction, as well as DOD contractor proprietary markings,” the affidavit reads.
Authorities said both Fitting and Erice had access to Erice’s Gmail account and were both involved in selling the documents to the Newport Beach company, Newport Aeronautical Sales Corporation (NASC). Two NASC employees are accused of then selling those documents to domestic and foreign customers.
George Posey IV, 36, and Dean Mirabal, 52, both California employees of NASC, have also been charged in connection with the alleged crimes.
The affidavit noted that Posey and Mirabal “are aware of the appropriate processes to procure government-controlled technical manuals and drawings and, as a result, they know that the acquisition of such manuals and drawings from Erice and/or Fitting is unlawful.”
Authorities allege that from 2012 to 2019, Fitting and Erice illegally sold NASC at least 5,000 of the government-owned technical drawings and manuals and the company issued Erice 150 checks during that time period, totalling $509,845. Erice and Fitting allegedly shared the profits.
NASC did not respond to Inside Edition Digital's request for comment.They are all charged with theft of government property, which carries a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
The case is set to be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California’s International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section. RELATED STORIES
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