Suspect in theft of President's truck appears in court - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Suspect in theft of President's truck appears in court


Federal authorities and Henrico Police have arrested a man accused of stealing a truck filled with the President's equipment. After a detention hearing Wednesday, Eric Brown was led out of a federal courtroom, closely guarded by a U.S. marshal. A judge would not throw out the stealing government property charge and denied bail.

This is a case a year in the making.

There is a typical setup to a presidential campaign stop, complete with seals, podiums, TelePrompTers and audio equipment. That staging has become commonplace. In Washington and across the country, President Obama has hit the campaign trail on various stages. Choosing a leader is a long process. With last night's win for President Obama and an arrest in the case of the stolen campaign equipment, it seems the 2012 election season has wrapped up.

But authorities say back in October, one stop in Virginia was made more difficult by 48-year-old Eric Brown. According to testimony, surveillance video from the Courtyard Marriott at Virginia Center Commons in Henrico County shows a vehicle owned by Brown's wife entering the parking lot and then leaving closely behind a Department of Defense truck carrying equipment needed for a presidential visit.

Law enforcement developed a source who said Brown sold a DOD laptop taken from the truck. That source also said he saw presidential seals in Brown's possession and that Brown admitted to taking the truck. In court Wednesday, an FBI agent quoted the source's recollection of Brown's statement as, "I got that truck."

According to court documents, cell phone records show Brown was in the immediate area at the time of the theft.

Brown's defense attorney argued the video doesn't show him driving the truck and that a few of the items recovered in a DC pawn shop were not brought in by Brown himself.

After a federal prosecutor listed the 48-year-old's extensive criminal history and the fact that he was on probation when the alleged crime was committed, a judge denied his release

Sources say that criminal history dates back almost thirty years and includes pending charges in other jurisdictions.

A theft of government property charge comes with a maximum ten year prison sentence.

The federal grand jury is expected to take up that indictment in December.

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