A Richmond man was sentenced in federal court Thursday to time served and up to six months in community confinement for stealing copper wire from the federal veterans facility in Togus where he had worked to support a drug habit.

Derek Less, 26, also was ordered at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Bangor to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $2,590 in restitution.

Less had been behind bars since his arrest in November.

He stole more than 400 pounds of copper wire and pipe fittings from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility in Togus during the summer of 2012, according to court records.

He sold the metal to Clark’s Cars & Parts, which is based in Farmingdale.

His arrest followed an investigation conducted by the VA’s Criminal Investigation Division, Office of the Inspector General.

According to prosecutors, Less stole copper wire and plumbing fittings on three occasions during the summer of 2012. He sold the items to the metals dealer on seven dates in July and August 2012

Two contract employees working at Togus saw Less steal copper wire from the site in August, cut it into 3-foot lengths, strip it and roll it into balls. Another contract worker said he saw Less steal spools of wire and put them in the back of the car he was driving before putting them in the truck, according to court records.

When officers at the VA facility asked to search his car, Less fled, court records said.

The manager of the scrap metals yard told authorities that a man fitting Less’ description sold 394 pounds of wire and 15 pounds of plumbing fittings to them that summer. Employees at the yard photocopied Less’ driver’s license and recorded the registrations of the vehicles he drove. On one occasion, he drove his mother’s car; on another, a car belonging to his girlfriend.

Less later admitted to authorities that he had stolen the metal to support a drug habit.

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