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June 2011
Tim Bilecki

No Conviction for Marines Charged As Alleged Ringleader in Barracks Theft Ring

Barracks Larceny, Witness Intimidation, False Official Statement
Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
Marine Corps Private First Class - E-3
No prison time, no conviction, honorable discharge.

A Marine Private First Class  was accused of being the ringleader of a large-scale barracks theft operation at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and subsequently charged with conspiracy, larceny of military property, sale of military property, false official statement, and witness intimidation for endeavoring to influence the statements of a co-accused during the investigation.. The criminal investigation began when the Marine and his ring allegedly broke into numerous barracks rooms at K-Bay and then faked the break-in of his own barracks room to create an alibi for law enforcement if questioned. Law enforcement was initially suspicions of our client and later found the undisclosed location where much of the stolen items were located, which pointed the evidence directly at our client.  

The Marine retained Article 121 UCMJ military defense lawyer Tim Bilecki prior to the preferral of charges.  This allowed us to conduct an early initial investigation and be one step ahead of the prosecution.  Charges were preferred to a general court martial and the case went to an Article 32 investigation.  Based on the preferred charges, our client was facing over 50 years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.   

The government alleged that our client had set up a barracks larceny operation in which he and others would break into fellow Marines’ barracks rooms while those Marines were on duty, on leave, or in the field. The stolen items were then transported to an undisclosed location, inventoried, warehoused, and later sold for profit. In addition to stealing from fellow Marines, our client was also charged with orchestrating the theft of PPE and other military equipment and selling it to civilians.

Civilian defense counsel Tim Bilecki took an aggressive posture at the Article 32 hearing and showed how the investigation and evidence were circumstantial and illustrated how difficult of a time the government would have at trial securing a conviction. The Investigating Officer recommended that many of the charges be dropped and the remaining charges go to a Special Court-Martial.

After the Article 32, we continued to fight for our client and were able to get the remaining charges reduced to a Summary Court-Martial so that our client would not have any federal conviction. We litigated the Summary Court Martial, and our client and presented a strong case in extenuation and mitigation for the remaining charges. He instead received no prison timeno conviction, and an honorable discharge.

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