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Pentagon Ordered to Lift Suspension of Kuwaiti Contractor’s Affiliates

NEIL GORDON – (POGO) – July 3, 2012 – You might be familiar with the story of Agility, the Kuwaiti company that was, until a few years ago, a key provider of logistics services for the U.S. military in the Middle East. That changed in November 2009 when Agility (formerly called Public Warehousing Company KSC and PWC Logistics) was indicted on charges of defrauding the government of more than $6 billion on food supply contracts, and the Defense Logistics Agency  suspended Agility and dozens of affiliated and subsidiary companies from federal contracting. (Agility was also the target of a civil False Claims Act lawsuit in which a default judgment was recently entered against Agility for failing to respond to the lawsuit.)

The criminal prosecution drags on and the suspensions are nearing the three-year mark. But last week, the U.S.  District Court for the Northern District of Alabama heard the plea of two PWC affiliates and ordered the logistics agency to lift their suspensions. The court ruled that the suspensions of Agility Defense and Government Services, Inc., and Agility International, Inc., two U.S.-based “indirect subsidiaries” of PWC, were illegal.

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Major Eric N. Velez, U.S. Army Reserve, gets 12 years for online enticement of a minor while stationed in Afghanistan (with docs)

Eric Velez photo from newcops.com

Major In The U.S. Army Reserve, Former Police Officer, Sentenced To Twelve Years For Online Enticement

Eric Niels Velez Sentencing (pdf)

Eric Niels Velez Sentencing memo (pdf)

(DoJ) – Tampa, FL – June 22, 2012 – United States District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. sentenced Eric Niels Velez (44, Philadelphia) yesterday to 12 years in federal prison for attempted coercion and enticement of a minor and attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor. As part of his sentence, upon his release from prison, Velez is required to serve a 10-year term of supervised release, and register as a sexual offender. He pled guilty on January 30, 2012.

According to court documents, Velez surfed internet chat rooms looking for minors. In August 2010, while stationed in Afghanistan, he initiated contact with an undercover law enforcement officer who was portraying the role of a 14-year-old minor. During this initial contact, Velez asked the purported minor to view his webcam. When she accepted his offer, the screen displayed video of Velez exposing himself and engaging in explicit behavior.

Velez continued to contact the undercover officer for more than six months. During that time he exposed himself on multiple occasions, transmitted numerous videos of himself engaged in explicit behavior, and instructed the purported minor on how to engage in explicit behavior. Velez also routinely asked the “minor” if she had any friends who would like to view his webcam. Consequently, Velez was directed to two other undercover law enforcement officers who were purportedly 10 and 13 years old. He initiated contact with these purported minors on numerous occasions, exposed himself, and instructed them to engage in explicit conduct. Velez engaged in this conduct while stationed overseas in Afghanistan and while at his home in Philadelphia, PA.

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Pentagon Halts Free Guns For Police, Orders Audit

Holbrook Mohr & Michael Kunzelman – (Associated Press) – June 8, 2012 – The Defense Department has stopped issuing weapons to thousands of law enforcement agencies until it is satisfied that state officials can account for all the surplus guns, aircraft, Humvees and armored personnel carriers it has given police under a $2.6 billion program, The Associated Press has learned.

The department’s Defense Logistics Agency ordered state-appointed coordinators in 49 states to certify the whereabouts of that equipment that has already been distributed through the long-running arrangement overseen by the agency’s Law Enforcement Support Office. The temporary halt on transferring weapons applies to all states, agency officials said Thursday.

The program provides police departments and other law enforcement agencies with military equipment ranging from guns and helicopters to computers and air conditioners and even toilet paper. The equipment is cheap or free for law enforcement agencies to acquire, but much of it comes with strict rules that prohibit it from being sold and dictate how it must be tracked.

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Chaffetz and Tierney Investigate Multi-Billion Dollar Defense Food Contract in Afghanistan

(Press Release) – Washington, DC – May 24, 2012 – Today, Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Rep. John F. Tierney, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, sent joint letters to Supreme Foodservice GmbH and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) requesting a host of documents relating to their ongoing investigation into a multi-billion dollar contract to provide food and other supplies to American bases in Afghanistan.

“It is outrageous that DLA could ever be in the position of possibly overpaying any vendor by three quarters of a billion dollars- especially at a time when troop levels are being scaled back because funding is tight,” said Chairman Chaffetz. “The Subcommittee will work with the Department of Defense to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding this apparent lack of oversight.”

“The American taxpayers refuse to accept a government contractor that bills more than $750 million in unsubstantiated charges, and they refuse to accept the Pentagon’s failure to manage this contract properly,” said Ranking Member Tierney.  “Chairman Chaffetz and I plan to continue our vigorous bipartisan oversight efforts, to fully investigate the problems with this contract, and to determine how they will affect the impending award of the new contract.”

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Officials: Nearly $2 million in guns, combat gear sold to gangs

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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