San Diego

A former Oceanside surplus dealer who jumped bail while awaiting sentencing for receiving stolen military gear from Camp Pendleton was sentenced Monday to 2 1/2 years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge William Enright imposed a 2-year term on Richard Thompson, 40, for his original conviction and added six months for fleeing the area while out on bail.

“I’ve always found that it’s better to face something than run from it,” Enright told Thompson, who was dressed in an orange prison jump suit.

“I think your culpability was great and your eyes were wide open. You knew what the stakes were. Today you pay the consequences,” the judge said.


Enright suspended another 2 1/2-year prison term and placed Thompson on five years probation. He fined him $100.

Frank Gregorcich , Thompson’s attorney, asked that Enright recommend he be housed in an Oklahoma federal prison near his family and his ill grandmother. Enright declined, citing security reasons, but said he might make such a recommendation later.

Thompson was indicted for jumping bail after he failed to appear for sentencing on July 22. He was one of about a dozen surplus dealers charged with trying to sell military gear from the Marine Corps base during the FBI’s “Operation Ripstop” sting operation.

Meanwhile, the sentencing of another surplus dealer, Jerry Alexander Sr., 45, of Vista, has been postponed until Jan. 13, 1986.

Last week a continuance was granted for Alexander, who pleaded guilty to income tax evasion for 1983. Alexander owned “Sad Sack Surplus,” and had pleaded guilty earlier to receiving stolen government property.