John Roberts, of Clarksville, Tennessee, a military equipment dealer was found guilty of conspiracy to steal and sell government property, two counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act and 10 counts of wire fraud.
Prosecutors said that he schemed with active duty soldiers at Ft. Campbell, KY to steal sensitive military material to sell to buyers in Russia, China, Mexico. Roberts faces up to five years in prison for conspiracy and up to 20 years for each count of arms export violations and wire fraud.
More than $1 million in weapons parts, body armor, helmets, gun sights and other equipment was stolen and sold in a vast black market, prosecutors said. Six soldiers and another civilian pleaded guilty. One testified that Roberts was given a tour of the base to see items to be stolen. Eventually, they brought equipment back from Afghanistan and sold it by the truckload.
More than $1 million in weapons parts, body armor, helmets, gun sights and other equipment was stolen and sold in a vast black market, prosecutors said.
Roberts, 27, testified that he did not know the soldiers were bringing him stolen equipment. He said the items he bought and sold were commonly found in surplus stores, gun stores and on eBay.
Roberts former business partner, Cory Wilson plead guilty to buying and selling stolen military equipment, wire fraud and violating the Arms Export Control Act. He stated that the pair would target soldiers who were young, broke and those who often needed money for drugs. He told prosecutors that they set up multiple accounts to sell the stolen items on eBay and would remove packaging designating the items as military equipment and use faked shipping labels to avoid suspicion by authorities.
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