Marine Accused of Stealing $1M in Gov't Property

-A New River Marine was taken into custody this past week while NCIS agents seized hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of government property from his Rock Creek home.

Gunnery Sgt. William Carpio was being held in pretrial confinement Friday, base officials confirmed.

He was taken into custody Wednesday. His house on Player Court was swarming with NCIS agents and deputies with the Onslow County Sheriff's Office that evening. They spent several hours carting out plastic bags and bins, cardboard boxes and duffel bags stuffed with items including brand new flashlights and Oakley sunglasses.

Carpio has not been formally charged, said 1st Lt. Robert Martins, communications director at Marine Corps Air Station New River.

Members of the military are not charged with a crime until an Article 32 hearing. The procedure -- similar to a civilian grand jury -- draws its name from the section that mandates such a hearing in the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice.

NCIS agents told curious neighbors Wednesday that Carpio was safe. A woman and two children arrived at the home while agents were carrying out their search of the two-story house. A neighbor took the children to her house while the woman was interviewed inside the Carpio home by female NCIS agents.

Agents and deputies continued throughout the night to catalog and seize items that filled up two government pickup trucks. Among the items seen taken from Carpio's garage and attic were unopened manufacturer boxes marked as containing Samsung 32-inch flat screen televisions; Dell desktop computers; DeWalt power tools including drills, saws and sanders; Pelican cases; Snap-on tools, Sony electronics; 3M products; and large furniture pieces.

The estimated haul of stolen items is around $1 million, according to agents and deputies overhead discussing the situation at the scene.

The case was the result of two months of investigative work, said Joe Kennedy, special agent-in-charge of the Carolinas Field Office when asked about the situation Friday.

"This is an ongoing case that may involve other people and I can't comment," he said.

Kennedy would not say whether the case is tied to a string of arrests last year aboard Camp Lejeune and other military bases after NCIS agents discovered that nearly $2 million in government property, including combat equipment, had been fleeced and sold on websites like eBay, Craigslist and Lejeune Underground.

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