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Beneteau thieves are sentenced

The two men had stolen a Beneteau 57 and taken it to the Bahamas in 2004

The two men had stolen a Beneteau 57 and taken it to the Bahamas in 2004

Two Jacksonville, Fla., men have been sentenced for stealing a Beneteau 57 in 2004 and taking it to the Bahamas.

Kevin J. Simmons, who is 27, reportedly pleaded guilty to federal charges of transporting stolen goods, and was ordered to serve one year in a halfway house and one year of home detention. He also must pay half the $120,000 in damages to the sailboat. Simmons apparently avoided jail time after he began crying at his Nov. 14 sentencing in South Carolina. U.S. District Judge Patrick M. Duffy said he doubted Simmons would survive in prison.

Simmons’ accomplice, Jeremiah W. Green, who is 26, was sentenced Dec. 7 to 18 months in prison and one year of home confinement, and must pay the other half of the damages. Green had skipped his original sentencing, also Nov. 14, which is why he received the more severe sentence.

Simmons and Green stole the Beneteau 57, Latitude Adjustment III, Jan. 7, 2004, from a dock in Charleston, S.C. (see April ’04 Soundings). The yacht had been tied near the end of a dock, investigators said, so it could have been taken from the marina without its engine, which might have raised attention if started, on an outgoing tide.

Acting on a tip, Bahamas-based FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration agents, with Bahamian police, seized Latitude Adjustment III three weeks later at the 70-slip Running Mon Marina in Freeport. Investigators believed the thieves left the yacht at the marina and planned to return for it. Atlanta-based oral surgeon Glen McIntosh, who had bought the boat just six days before it was stolen, reclaimed Latitude Adjustment III in May 2004.

Valued at $750,000, the boat was the first of the French-built Beneteau 57s delivered to the United States, and was one of only 35 built at the time. www.beneteau