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Convicted defense contractor surrenders to federal marshalls

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Brent R. WilkesFormer Poway defense contractor Brent Wilkes was convicted of bribing ex-Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham in federal court nearly seven years ago.

On Friday, with his appeals virtually exhausted, Wilkes surrendered to federal marshals in San Antonio, to serve his 12-year-sentence.

It marks the end of a long battle for Wilkes, 59, and a frustrating process for federal prosecutors who wanted him locked up. Wilkes was convicted in 2007 of lavishing gifts, trips, meals and cash on Cunningham, who in turn used his influence to steer lucrative government contracts to Wilkes’ company, ADCS.

But for most of the past seven years, save for an 11-month stint in 2008, Wilkes has been out on bond while his appeals worked their way through the system.

On Friday the prosecutors who convicted him said his return to federal custody was long overdue.

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