Former Dare County Navy range manager going to prison for selling equipment for scrap metal

The former long-time manager of a Navy bombing range near Manteo was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison on Friday for his role in a scheme to sell military equipment for scrap metal.

Harry C. Mann, 80, was also ordered to pay $149,999 in restitution and a $75,000 fine. Mann, who lives in Manns Harbor and had worked at the range since 1968, pleaded guilty last fall to one count of accepting illegal gratuities.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mann was responsible for constructing and mantaining targets at the Dare County Bombing Range for Navy and Marine Corps jets to bomb from the air.

Prosecutors say that between January 2005 and May 2011, Mann requisitioned about $16 million in excess government property, including trucks, bulldozers, cranes and trailers. They say he sold some of that property, including “numerous pieces of heavy equipment and aluminum expedition runway matting,” to local metal scrappers, for which he received about $175,000.

The Navy learned of the illegal sales after inspectors from the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles saw some of the heavy equipment being moved around the Edenton area, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Two men who bought the equipment had earlier pleaded guilty to theft of government property.