Navy technician sentenced for computer theft

Victor Papagno sentenced to 18 months in prison and order to pay restitution for stealing 19,000 high-tech items from Naval Research Lab.

A Navy computer specialist who pleaded guilty to stealing more than 19,000 pieces of computer equipment from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $159,000 in restitution, according to a Washington Post report.

Prosecutors said 40-year-old Victor Papagno was behind one of the biggest computer theft scans they had seen. During a 10-year period, Papagno stole thousands of keyboards, monitors, floppy disks, hard drives, cables, batteries and a device to make security badges "by walking out the front door with the booty in boxes," the Post said.

A tip to law enforcement from Pagano's estranged wife exposed the scheme. Authorities needed an 18-wheel tractor trailer to haul the recovered equipment from a 2,775-square-foot garage Papagno built to store the stolen equipment at his Hughesville, Md.

"Papagno told authorities he was building a 'Noah's Ark of Computer land'," said special agent Timothy Hall of the Navy Criminal Investigative Service in court papers. The agent added that Papagno told a friend that he [Papagno] wanted to auction the equipment on eBay.