Army veteran pleads guilty to stealing millions from Fort Hood

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Brandon Dominic Brown pleaded not guilty last year and has set a trial date for September. On September 14, however, he pleaded guilty.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An Army veteran accused of stealing $2.1 million worth of military equipment from Fort Hood and then selling it on eBay, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Corpus Christy.

Brandon Dominic Brown was arrested last September, along with Army veteran Jessica Elantrell Smith. The two were accused of stealing 68 PAS-13 goggles, 47 RT 1523 radios, nine AN-PSC 5 radios, four PVS-14 goggles, three night vision devices, three AN/PRC 117 radios, two receivers/transmitters and an AN. -Radio VRC-90 on the night of June 16 to June 17, according to court documents.

After the reported theft, Brown then traveled to Corpus Christi to meet with Nathan Nichols, who then listed the items on eBay, according to police.

Brown pleaded not guilty last November and has set a trial date for September. However, according to court documents from September 14, Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States. It was part of a plea deal where two other counts were dismissed.

Brown is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 7.

RELATED: Stolen from Fort Hood, sold on eBay | Army veteran convicted for role in stealing $2.1 worth of military equipment

According to court documents, the investigation began after army materiel inventory troopers noticed the locks of 17 Conex containers had been cut.

The complaint says surveillance video shows Brown and Smith entered Fort Hood through an access gate on June 16 at approximately 11:08 p.m. and 11:42 p.m.

Police were able to use cellphone records to prove that Smith then drove to Nichol’s home in Corpus Christi immediately after the robbery.

The lead investigator was able to identify the seller as Nichols in Corpus Christi, according to the complaint. His profile included pictures of sold military equipment that displayed serial numbers that matched several stolen items.

A search warrant for Nichols’ home was provided to Homeland Security in July 2021. During the search, investigators found more than $1.23 million in U.S. currency and stolen military equipment, the documents show. judicial. They also found a phone that had conversations between Smith and Nichols dating back to March 2021, according to the complaint.

Nichols pleaded guilty in 2021 and will be sentenced in October. He will also be required to pay compensation.

At a court hearing on August 2, Smith was sentenced to 18 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton. His sentencing will also follow two years of probation. Smith will also have to pay the US military $1.3 million plus $100 in restitution.

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