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U.S. Marine Corps Archive

Lindell Kay And Mike Mchugh – (The Daily News) – May 15, 2012 – A wide-reaching investigation by military and civilian authorities has uncovered a criminal conspiracy within the Armed Forces to steal and sell nearly $2 million in guns and combat gear to gangs in the U.S. and foreign countries including China, military officials have confirmed.

The probe began more than a year and a half ago when agents with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service began to conduct undercover operations to disrupt and reduce the theft, transfer, sale and possession of stolen U.S. Government property. With the aid of Marine and Naval authorities, NCIS has recovered $1.8 million in stolen guns and combat gear to include assault rifles, night-vision goggles, flashlights and other items, military officials said.

Those involved are accused of stealing, over-ordering or otherwise obtaining equipment and selling guns locally and other gear over the Internet to people in foreign countries including China and Russia, officials said.

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Former U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Sentenced to Prison for Role in Scheme to Steal Military Equipment in Iraq

WASHINGTON – A former U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) gunnery sergeant was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for conspiring to steal at least 55 electrical generators from USMC bases in Iraq in 2008, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles for the District of South Carolina.

Eric Scott Hamilton, 40, of Carrollton, Ga., also was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs in Greenville, S.C., to three years of supervised release following his prison term. In addition, Hamilton was ordered to pay $124,944 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Defense. Hamilton pleaded guilty on Aug. 10, 2011, to a criminal information charging him with two counts of conspiracy to steal public property.

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(DoJ) – PHILADELPHIA – October 18, 2011 – Christopher M. Cook, a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, was charged today by Indictment with theft and destruction of U.S. government property worth more than $750,000, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.  The charges arise from the defendant’s alleged theft of approximately 60,000 pound of aluminum helicopter landing pads and other metal objects worth approximately $760,000 from the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania between August 2010 and February 2011.  It is alleged that, on 22 separate occasions during that time frame, the defendant visited a local scrap metal dealer, and exchanged the stolen aluminum landing pads and other metal objects for more than $50, 000 in payments.

It is alleged that, after stealing and causing the destruction of this government property, defendant Christopher M. Cook then used the proceeds he received from the scrap dealer to pay for a variety of personal items including, among others, travel expenses, restaurants and other entertainment, clothing and jewelry, and repairs to his truck.

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U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant from South Carolina Pleads Guilty for Role in Scheme to Steal Military Equipment in Iraq

(DoJ) – August 10, 2011 – WASHINGTON – A U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) gunnery sergeant pleaded guilty today to conspiring to steal more than 70 electrical generators from two USMC bases in Iraq in 2008, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles for the District of South Carolina.
 
Eric Scott Hamilton, 40, of Pelzer, S.C., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs in the District of South Carolina to a criminal indictment charging him with two counts of conspiracy to steal public property.  
 
According to court documents, Hamilton was stationed from May to September 2008 at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, where he was in charge of a military storage yard containing electrical generators and other equipment for use by USMC units in Iraq.   Hamilton admitted that while he was stationed at Camp Fallujah, he entered into a scheme with a USMC officer to facilitate the theft of electrical generators from the base by private Iraqi contractors.   Hamilton admitted that he identified the generators to be stolen, painted markings on them to designate them for theft by Iraqi contractors, and facilitated access to the storage yard by the contractors’ trucks to load and remove the generators.   Hamilton also entered into a separate scheme with a private Iraqi contractor to facilitate that contractor’s theft of electrical generators from the base.   Both of these theft schemes continued after the USMC closed Camp Fallujah in approximately October 2008 and relocated personnel there to Camp Ramadi, Iraq.   According to court documents, Hamilton was assigned at Camp Ramadi from October to December 2008.
 
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