Veteran Pleads Guilty to Stealing $2M in Combat Gear from Fort Hood
A former Army soldier is set for sentencing after accepting a plea deal and heisting multimillion-dollar combat gear from Fort Hood, Texas.
According to Smith's account, she broke into 17 storage containers with bolt cutters in June 2021, along with another veteran who was a civilian employee at the base, Brandon Brown. His trial is set for this summer.
As far as records indicate, Brown contacted Smith in March 2021, asking for her help stealing the equipment -- mainly optics used by soldiers to shoot and operate in the dark. Investigators say that as a civilian worker at Fort Hood, Brown had easy access to the base. According to them, he also allegedly told Smith that the stolen goods would be given to a local man named Nathan Nichols, who would sell the goods online.
Two people stole three PEQ-15 laser range finders, 57 PAS-13 thermal scopes, four PVS-13 night vision scopes, and ten PVS-7 night vision goggles on June 16.
The following day, they gave the equipment to Nichols in Corpus Christi, Texas, which is about 260 miles away from Fort Hood. Furthermore, Nichols pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in June.
Nichols sold the stolen goods on eBay two weeks after the heist for $1176,000. According to court documents, an Army investigator was able to match images found on eBay showing serial numbers to those stolen from Fort Hood.
After federal agents searched his home in July, Army investigators found $1,119,240.00 of gear.