Richmond veteran pleads guilty to stealing copper wiring, pipe fittings from Togus

Posted Dec. 04, 2013, at 3:54 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Richmond veteran pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to three counts of theft of government property in connection with his stealing copper wiring and pipe fittings from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ buildings in Togus during the summer of 2012.

By pleading guilty, Derek C. Less, 26, admitted that he sold 394 pounds of wire and 15 pounds of pipe fittings to Clark’s Car & Parts Inc., in Augusta. Less stole the items to support his drug addiction, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Less was seen on Aug. 16, 2012, taking spools of copper wiring and putting them in his car by people working on the VA grounds, according to the prosecution version of events to which he pleaded guilty. That same day, Less fled from two VA police officers at a high rate of speed after they asked to search his car.

A federal grand jury indicted Less in October. He was scheduled to enter a not guilty plea Nov. 18 but failed to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk. He was arrested the next day and pleaded not guilty.

Less has been held without bail since his arrest.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. A sentencing date has not been set.

Less also could be ordered to pay restitution of more than $2,600, according to court documents.

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