Kyle Yocom's detention-officer job for the Arizona U.S. Marshal's Service didn't pay enough -- for him, anyway.
The once-supervisor for a detention unit at a federal courthouse pawned body armor worth about a thousand bucks and other gear, netting $90. He was was given five years' probation this week after pleading guilty to a federal misdemeanor count of theft of public money or property.
Yocom was hired by the Marshal's Service in April of 2008, court records state. He worked in Mesa for the Justice Prison and Alien Transportation System, then transferred in 2011 to Tucson's Evo DeConcini U.S. Courthouse for a job as supervisory detention enforcement officer.
After showing up to work on June 15, 2012, Yocom took a break to make a quick trip to a nearby police-supply business. There, he used a $250 federal equipment allowance to buy a tactical knife and flashlight for a total of $242.20. Five hours later, he drove to USA Pawn and Jewel Company, where he sold the items for $60.
He went back to the same pawn the next month and tried to sell the body armor, which records say cost the federal government $975 from a contracting supplier. The brand name isn't mentioned, but the Kevlar panels and metal plates of the vest are "capable of defeating military-type rifle rounds."
The pawn shop manager was suspicious. He was worried that a criminal could use the body armor to commit a crime. He agreed to loan Yocom $30 for the gear, but only if Yocom first removed the U.S. Marshal's Service badge and insignia from the vest. Yocom did so and took his cash. The pawn manager reported the transaction to law enforcement, records say. Yocom never came back for the vest.
The detention officer was later arrested and admitted to the crime, claiming he needed the money. On Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Pyle ordered the five-year term of probation, which includes special stipulations like banning Yocom from "making major purchases" without his probation officer's approval.
U.S. Marshal David Gonzales says Yocom resigned from the service.
"As a detention officer he made about $40,000 (to) $50,000 a year," Gonzales says. "It's not a bad job."
He didn't want to elaborate on why Yocom needed the money; we couldn't find a contact number for the former employee.
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