Former Master Sgt. Adam Monticelli with the Oregon Air National Guard changed his plea to guilty in federal court Monday.
Monticelli admitted that he stole three Suzuki motorcycles from the Air Force, 125 Special Tactics Squadron of the Oregon Air National Guard in 2009. He was a Senior Master Sgt. at the time. Monticelli admitted to creating a fictitious person, signing off on those motorcycles as being unusable, then selling them on Craigslist for profit.
Although Monticelli admitted guilt, he will likely never see the inside of a prison cell. He is being placed on an 18 month diversion program, similar to probation. Monticelli, who lives in New York, can have the three felony charges against him dismissed if he completes a diversion program by July of 2012.
Monticelli must also re-pay the government $8850 for the stolen motorcycles.
U.S. Attorney Pamala Holsinger said that under the circumstances the result is unusual, but said Monticelli is a decorated service member being given a second chance.
If Monticelli does not successfully complete the 18 month diversion program, he will be sentenced on three felony counts of theft of government property—a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine.
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While 700 motorcycles may seem like a bad day for some rallies or events, in some parts of the world its considered a record.
Case in point, Jakarta Indonesia where the magical figure of seven hundred broke a record set in 2007 for the number of motorcycles participating in a rally. And like every record-breaking event there were a list of who’s who, at least among the local population.
Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo and former Industry Minister Fahmi Idris participated in the rally.
But like any motorcycle event that crowds the local streets, the sheer number of bikes reportedly slowed down traffic with drivers complaining about bikers creating unwanted congestion.
There are more than a few reasons why this motorcycle enthusiasm is music the ears of motorcycle manufacturers the world over. While some parts of the globe were happy with maintaining sales, or even a slight decrease, in Indonesia two-wheeled sales were up 26 percent reaching 7,369,249 units.
That already big number is expected to get bigger with an expectation of over eight million motorcycles being sold in 2011.
Sales volumes last year were led by Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki according to data from Indonesia's Motorcycle Industry (AISI). With these mind-boggling motorcycles it’s no surprise that manufacturers from Harley-Davidson to Honda are looking to these prolific markets with longing eyes. Both felt lucky with selling 143,000 and 192,000 motorcycles respectively in the North American region for 2010.
Admittedly, the motorcycle market in Indonesia and surrounding countries have large segments of smaller sized engine motorcycles that are used by the general public as everyday transportation, an area not serviced by the Ducati’s of the world.
And it’s wrong to assume to look for would-be motorcycle clubs rumbling through the back roads of Indonesia because they’ve been bitten by the biker bug. Most likely the reason for the expected jump in the already millions of sales is a fuel subsidy.
The Indonesian government plans to stop the use of subsidized fuel for private cars in the Jakarta region after the first quarter, but not for motorcycles which is seen to help with the growth of two-wheeled sales.
But regardless of the reasons why and what they may buy, motorcycle manufacturers have over eight million reasons to find their way to Indonesia.