David K. Becker, 24, a former U.S. Navy SEAL was given an “other than honorable” discharge from the Navy in April and today, July 18, he was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison.
Becker pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of theft of government property in a U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Va. The charges and sentencing stem from Becker’s theft of smoke grenades, ammunition and gas masks from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach.
The arrest came in December of 2013, after Becker sold military-grade ordnance to undercover agents with NCIS, the Navy’s Criminal Investigative Service. NCIS had been tipped off by a confidential informant that Becker was selling military equipment on an auction-style online site.
Becker took the bait when the NCIS agents contacted him through the site and set up sting operation to buy grenades. Days later, he sold the same NCIS agents military ammo and gas masks. All of the items had been stolen from the SEAL Team unit in Virginia Beach.
U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Beach Smith said Becker, who stole the military weaponry for nothing but greed, deserved to spend some time in federal prison, even though Becker had no previous criminal record.
In an argument that rang hollow for the judge, Becker’s attorney, Vincent Pascale said the Navy SEAL had already lost his job and veteran’s benefits.
The Navy SEAL Team assigned to Virginia Beach is often mistakenly referred to by the name if its predecessor, SEAL Team Six, which was officially disbanded in 1987. Currently, the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), or DEVGRU is what the Navy officially calls the program.