When defense contractors hire losers, hilarity ensues. Briefly. It’s not very funny when it all finally shakes out. Two laborers on Navy contracts in San Diego just got indicted for separate incidents of bomb threats.
Why bomb threats? They weren’t terrorists, or trolls. They just were lazy, and wanted paid time off work while the Navy chased its tail over bogus threats. It’s all a grand lark until the grim guy in the suit is talking about plea bargains and Federal prison — and he’s your lawyer.
Two men who have worked as Navy contractors face potential prison time and fines for making bogus bomb threats that resulted in mass evacuations of naval ships moored on San Diego Bay in recent months.
Joshua Rice, 26, and Roberto Rubio, 22, were arrested and arraigned in federal court Wednesday. The two San Diego residents each face up to five years behind bars and a $250,000 fine if convicted of issuing hoax threats.
Rice is charged in a grand jury indictment with reporting to Navy security personnel that he saw the word “bomb” scrawled inside of a portable toilet near three vessels docked at Naval Base San Diego on the morning of May 17, knowing there was no true threat.
At the time, Rice was working for American Marine, a ship repair and rehabilitation company.
Rubio is charged separately with writing “9-24-16 400 bomb” on an interior wall aboard the USS Cowpens, a guided-missile cruiser, on Sept. 24 and reporting the phony threat to another contractor. Rubio was then employed as a welder for Navy contractor BAE Systems.
The USS Cowpens is a Ticonderoga-class cruiser that bears the name of a Revolutionary War victory — and a WWII light carrier. But it didn’t really need any more bad publicity, after a romantic entanglement with one of his subordinate officers led the Navy to sack the captain (and his girlfriend) a couple of years ago.
It could have been worse. A few years ago, a high-functioning autistic guy hired to do some painting in the Portsmouth Navy Yard started a fire on the boat he was working on, USS Miami. The fire essentially destroyed the billion-dollar boat, and the loser got more time off than he was counting on — about 17 years in Club Fed.
Now, you might ask why defense contractors hire such losers in the first place? We can explain, and it only takes one word: money. From a Beltway contractor point of view, every dollar “wasted” on the people that actually provide the service you are selling in the contract, is a dollar that can’t be “invested” in the sort of inside-Beltway drones that secure the contract in the first place. So most DOD contractors are incentivized to provide the lowest quality workforce for the highest per-hour cost (to the Government; 90% of it stays in-Beltway). And so you have incidents like this, not just in 2016 like these current defendants, but every couple of years.