A judge sentenced a San Diego County aircraft worker to two years in federal prison for selling the military defective bolts for its helicopters.
Joel H. Potter, 57, pleaded guilty and admitted he put troops at risk, according to U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy. Potter was sentenced Monday.
The U.S. Department of Defense discovered the problem after a bolt's head broke off as it was being installed on a Sikorsky CH-53E helicopter, prompting a worldwide alert to the Navy and Marine Corps, Duffy said.
Potter, the former employee of Mackenzie Aircraft Parts in Vista, Calif., from 2004 to 2008 sold more than 16,000 noncompliant aircraft parts to a supplier contracted by the Defense Department. Prosecutors said Potter sold parts designated as critical safety items that were necessary for the safe operation of an aircraft. He also must pay $244,660 in restitution.