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Defense contractors get prison for medical equipment meant for injured Marines

SAN DIEGO — Two defense contractors were sentenced to prison Friday for conspiring to steal more than $3 million worth of medical equipment from Camp Pendleton that the military had planned to ship overseas to treat injured Marines.

Henry Bonilla, 29, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and Richard Navarro, 44, was given 12 months behind bars.

“This isn’t the theft of pencils and pens,” said U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo. “This medical equipment was meant for U.S. troops. This type of theft is outrageous and puts our troops at risk. I hope this sentence will send a message to people in government in positions of trust.”

Bonilla, Navarro and their co-conspirators — many of whom likewise have pleaded guilty — worked as civilian defense contractors in warehouses run by 1st Medical Logistics Co. at Camp Pendleton. 1st MEDLOG is the unit responsible for maintaining medical equipment and shipping necessary medical items to combat forces throughout the world.

By virtue of their employment as contractors, Bonilla and Navarro had access to sophisticated, expensive medical equipment stored at 1st MEDLOG warehouses.

According to court records, Bonilla and Navarro and their co- conspirators stole expensive medical equipment from 1st MEDLOG, including anesthesia machines, autoclaves, ventilators, ultrasound machines, defibrillators and laryngoscopes, among other items.

Bonilla and Navarro removed the items from Camp Pendleton with the help of their co-conspirators and sold the equipment to medical equipment resellers.

Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson said the charges against Bonilla, Navarro and others were the result of ongoing efforts to root out corruption among area defense contractors.

Bencivengo ordered Bonilla to forfeit two vehicles and $172,850 in ill- gotten gains and ordered Navarro to forfeit $49,210. The judge also ordered both defendants to pay restitution of the value of the $3 million worth of equipment stolen from the U.S. Marine Corps.