Man sentenced in theft from Coast Guard

A Denham Springs man was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison Thursday after admitting he stole $127,600 in high-tech equipment from the U.S. Coast Guard and sold it to people in the United States, Sweden and Colombia.

Raymond L. Beavers, 48, told U.S. District Judge James J. Brady he sold the equipment because of a gambling problem.

“I made a stupid mistake and tarnished 25 years of my military career,” Beavers said.

“This is utterly out of character” said Rhett Spano, Beavers’ attorney. Spano said Beavers “has been a hard-working man all his life.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan A. Stevens said Beavers spent some of the money on tickets and trips to LSU athletic events.

“You can’t just steal military stuff and sell it over the Internet to fund” a fan’s devotion to sports, Stevens added.

In a written statement after the hearing, U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux Jr. noted that Beavers used both eBay and PayPal to make his equipment sales.

Stolen items included Tektronix digital oscilloscopes and Cisco computer network switches, according to Beavers’ indictment.

In addition to the prison term, Brady ordered Beavers to pay $127,600 in restitution to the Coast Guard.

Brady also ordered Beavers to forfeit $69,637 he received from buyers of that equipment.

Court records show Beavers was supervisor of the Coast Guard’s Electronic Support Detachment in New Orleans when the thefts occurred between February 2007 and March 2008.

Had Brady sentenced Beavers to one year in prison, Beavers would not have been eligible for early release. Under the one-year-and-one-day rule, Beavers can become eligible to seek early release after he serves 10 months and six days of his prison term.

Brady told Beavers to report to federal prison by 2 p.m. Feb. 11.

The investigation was conducted by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, State Police and Walker Police Department, Cazayoux said in his statement.