The investigation so far has spanned at least two states: Agents raided his home after surveillance video showed a pickup belonging to the man’s father leaving the base loaded with stolen items, then last month agents searched his father’s home in Tennessee, according to court records.

The Air Force was preparing to indict Staff Sgt. Dairian D. James of Panama City last month but the legal proceedings were delayed due to the pandemic, Linda J. Card said in an email. Card is spokeswoman for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at its headquarters offices in Quantico, Va. Card said James’ indictment could be delayed weeks longer.

An Air Force investigator, Kevin Sucher, said in court papers the investigation began in February after about $40,000 in government industrial cabinets were reported missing from a building on the fighter jet base that had been heavily damaged by Hurricane Michael in October 2018.

Sucher said in court papers that investigators tried to question James about the thefts, but James requested a lawyer and did not discuss the matter. James’ first name was spelled Dairian in property records in Bay County, Florida, and on his Facebook account, but Sucher spelled it Darian in his search warrant affidavit.

Copies of the search warrant applications in Florida and Tennessee and related legal paperwork were obtained by Fresh Take Florida, a news service operated by University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. Prosecutors filed them in federal courts under case numbers and names with no obvious references to the James family.

James did not return messages by phone, text, email and to his social media account, or messages left with his wife, Kaitlin

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