A veteran of the U.S. Army who pleaded guilty to ripping off $2.1 million worth of military gear from Fort Hood in Texas learned her fate last week.
Jessica Elaintrell Smith, 30, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and $1.3 million in restitution after she previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government in April.
Hence, prosecutors dropped an additional count on the indictment as part of the plea deal.
Wayne Heugatter, an Army veteran writing for ‘Temple Daily Telegram’ shares his frustration over the news:
The article on Wednesday titled “Army veteran gets 18 months in military theft case” made my blood boil!
For a $2.1 million theft, the person will have to pay restitution of $1.3 million at $25/quarter while in prison and $250/month once released, which will take more than 400 years to repay. The restitution of $1.3 million is absolutely absurd.
Wish I could get a loan like that. There is no mention of this person’s rank or length of service but judging from her age, she could have a few years of service. Also, no mention of a dishonorable discharge. Her life is ruined.
I don’t buy the story that the reason for the theft was to provide for her two children. The Army has programs to assist in a situation like this. Did she seek help? Apparently not!
This person took the opportunity to make some quick cash and got caught. Great work by the Army investigative team. I am a Veteran and a retired VA employee and this type activity does not sit well with me. Think I’ll go check my blood pressure!
‘Fox News’ gives us more details of this story:
A U.S. army veteran who pleaded guilty to stealing $2.1 million worth of military gear from the embattled Texas base Fort Hood was sentenced last week to just a year and a half behind bars.
Jessica Elaintrell Smith, 30, had already pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government in April. As part of the plea deal, another count on the indictment was dropped.
Smith, along with co-conspirators Nathan Nichols and Brandon Dominic Brown, are accused of taking 68 PAS-13 scopes, 47 RT 1523 radios, nine AN-PSC 5 radios, four PVS-14 scopes, three-night vision devices, three AN/PRC 117 radios, two receiver/transmitters and one AN-VRC-90 radio sometime overnight between June 16-17, 2021.
Soldiers reported finding locks cut on 17 Conex shipping containers on the base, and an audit showed that a total of 137 items worth about $2.1 million were missing.
“It was a smash-and-grab,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Stacey Dunn said on Tuesday, according to The Killeen Daily Herald. “They took whatever they could get.”
Twelve says after the heist, an agent with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division discovered several of the stolen items matching the same serial number listed for sale on eBay.
Fort Hood army vet gets 18 months in prison for stealing $2.1M in military gear from embattled Texas base https://t.co/Kk9qZ14xV2
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 7, 2022