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Coast Guard Petty Officer Headed to Prison for Stealing More Than $600,000 in Government Property

For Immediate Release

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HOUSTON – U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Gavino Ortiz III, 32, of League City, has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction for theft of government property, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Ortiz pleaded guilty Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012.

Today, U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Ortiz a sentence of 24 months in prison. He was further ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $230,468.29 and to serve a three-year term of supervised release following completion of his prison sentence.

At the time of his guilty plea, Ortiz acknowledged that were this case to go to trial, the United States could prove that on Nov. 30, 2010, he utilized a government issued J.P. Morgan Chase purchase card to buy a $2,678.91 skydiving parachute with accessories for his personal benefit. The United States would also be able to prove that from July 2010 to August 2011, Ortiz used the purchase card to make personal financial gain purchases totaling approximately $230,468.
Previously released on bond, Ortiz was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The charge against Ortiz resulting in his guilty plea was the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel C. Rodriguez.