NASSCO Shipyard Contractor Guilty of Stealing $600K in Computer Equipment

Ernesto Saldivar, a civilian contractor at General Dynamics NASSCO’s San Diego-area shipyard, pled guilty in March to stealing nearly $600,000 worth of computer equipment from three U.S. Navy ships.

Saldivar was one of the workers who had participated in the shipyard’s ongoing Navy ship modernization efforts. According to his plea agreement, he stole hundreds of items, such as hard drives and laptops, from declassified areas on ships undergoing maintenance between November 2022 and August 2023.

Saldivar was selling the stolen items, including two hard drives containing military communications, on eBay. The affected ships included the USS Pinckney, USS Curtis Wilbur and USS Spruance, all of which are guided missile destroyers that underwent updates, repairs and maintenance at NASSCO.

In his plea agreement, stated that the total aggregate value of the stolen items was $596,997.53, almost all of which he now owes the U.S. government in restitution. The defendant also admitted to receiving $2,584.98 in payments from eBay sales of the stolen items.

“Stealing from our military doesn’t just hurt the taxpayer, it puts our national security and service members at risk,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California Tara McGrath said in a statement. “The military relies heavily on civilian support, and we will do our part to ensure our service members can trust the civilians standing by their side.”

Saldivar’s sentencing hearing is expected to take place within a few months.