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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
01/12/2016

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Modesto man sentenced for selling hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of stolen military property

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A northern California man was sentenced Monday to one year and a day in prison for theft of Department of Defense property worth more than $316,000, following a joint investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the General Services Administration, Office of Inspector General; and the Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS).

Eric M. Shaffer, 42, of Modesto, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez. According to court documents, Shaffer was an employee at the Department of Defense Logistics Agency, San Joaquin Distribution Center, in Tracy, (Tracy DLA Depot). Shaffer regularly had access to new goods delivered by vendors that were stored at the Tracy DLA Depot before being shipped to military bases in the Pacific Ocean region and elsewhere.

Between February 2011 and January 2015, Shaffer stole at least 660 items of government property from the Tracy DLA Depot and resold them in approximately 365 transactions, including 325 auctions on a popular online auction website. Shaffer’s scheme generated approximately $238,000 in illicit revenue. The approximate replacement value of the property Shaffer stole and resold exceeded $316,000. In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Mendez ordered Shaffer to pay $316,557 in restitution.

“Through our partnership with the DCIS and GSA; HSI undercover agents successfully identified Shaffer’s illegal activity and prevented additional military equipment from being sold on the Internet to prospective foreign and domestic buyers,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of HSI San Francisco. “HSI is committed to investigating and seeking charges against those intent on violating U.S. export laws.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney André M. Espinosa prosecuted the case.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/13/2016