ORLANDO, Fla. -

A Merritt Island man faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison for theft of government property after pleading guilty to the theft of more than $100,000 worth of copper wire from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Local 6 partner Florida Today reports Phillip Joseph Vogt III, 24, and co-defendant James Allen Lee are suspected of having entered the air force base multiple times between November 2010 and April 2011 with a temporary contractor access badge sponsored by Lee's employer, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Once on the base, they allegedly removed large amounts of copper wire from reels in a storage area, later selling it to recycling centers in Brevard.

After being confronted by investigators, Vogt confessed to his role in the thefts. Lee is in state custody on unrelated charges.

This case was investigated by U.S. Air Force Office of the Inspector General and the NASA Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert E. Bodnar Jr.