- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A former government technology contractor was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington to 1 1/2 years in prison for stealing at least 83 laptops from the federal office where he worked and selling some on Craigslist.

Darryl Roger Lyles, 37, of Capitol Heights also has to pay back more than $180,000 to compensate for the lost laptops, but prosecutors said the loss was even greater. Because of Lyles’ crime, the small contractor that he worked for - RGB Technology Inc. of Herndon - said it lost its contract with the Government Accountability Office and had to lay off 12 employees that worked on the account. Lyles was an information technology analyst.

Lyles told the court that many of those who lost jobs were his friends, and every day he thinks of how he let them down and disappointed his two children and the rest of his loved ones. “I’m still having a hard time looking them in the eye,” Lyles said.

In asking that Lyles be sentenced to two years, the maximum recommendation under their plea deal, prosecutors pointed out that the theft was from all taxpayers and that Lyles has twice tested positive for marijuana use while awaiting sentencing.

Lyles’ attorney said his client stole the equipment because he was under financial pressure after his wife was sentenced to prison and left him as a single father to their son and daughter. He said he used the drugs because of the increased pressure of the case and because the court never specifically told him not to.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton lectured Lyles for using drugs but said he was giving him the lower sentence because it’s important that he get out and parent his children. The judge ordered that Lyles be incarcerated as close as possible to Connecticut, where his children will be living with their uncle.

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