Former local defense worker sentenced for stealing government property

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A former local U.S. Department of Defense employee was sentenced Tuesday to more than two years in prison for stealing government property.

Roy E. Friend, 52, of Newport News, worked as chief of logistics and program management, aviation and missile command at Fort Eustis.

In March, Friend pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining goods through General Services Administration (GSA) Advantage website. GSA is an e-business that gives various government agencies access to millions of commercial products and services.

Authorities say Friend made 666 orders totaling $2.3 million using his GSA account from Aug. 19, 2010 to around mid-2015.

An investigation found that many of the items bought by Friend were taken for personal use, and that he would take some items to an outside business where the labels would be removed and the items resold.

Authorities say the investigation also found that some items were sold on eBay. Friend was also found to have fraudulently obtained nearly $230,000 worth of equipment from Fort Lee through a government contract.

In total, authorities say Friend fraudulently obtained goods valued at just over $905,000.

Friend was sentenced Tuesday to 33 months in prison, with three years of supervised released. He was ordered to pay $715,829 in restitution.