Reporting Mark Abrams
By Mark Abrams
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A former marine who used the cover of the closing of the Willow Grove Naval Air Station for the theft of military equipment was sentenced in federal court for the crime on Thursday.
29-year-old Christopher Cook is a former Marine sergeant now living in Michigan. He was discharged for his conduct, admitting he stole 60,000 pounds of aluminum helicopter landing pads from August 2010 through February 2011 from Willow Grove where he unit was assigned.
On 22 separate occasions, he admitted taking the pads to a nearby scrap dealer and collecting about $50,000.
U.S. District Judge William Yohn sentenced Cook to eight months in a supervised treatment facility, five years of probation, and ordered him to pay restititution in excess of $377,000.
Cook spoke in court before the sentence was passed.
“It’s a complete disgrace to me, to my country, to the Marine Corps,” he said.
The judge heard and accepted testimony from a psychiatrist who says Cook suffers from Post-traumatic-Stress-disorder and traumatic brain injury from four tours of duty in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Prosecutor John Pease, who was seeking prison time, conceded the judge put a lot of thought into the sentence.
“We respect the judge’s decision,” Pease says. “And we do think that it’s an appropriate result in this case.”