United States Army soldier Albert Kelly III of Fort Knox, Kentucky, was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison for his role in stealing fuel at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Salerno in Afghanistan. In addition to his prison term, Kelly was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution.
Acting Assistant Attorney General David O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David J. Hale of the Western District of Kentucky made the announcement after the sentence was imposed by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Simpson III in the Western District of Kentucky.
According to court documents, from January 2011 to January 2012, Kelly was assigned to FOB Salerno, and for most of that time he served as a specialist. Kelly’s duties included overseeing the delivery of fuel into FOB Salerno. Typically, the fuel was brought into the base by Afghan trucking companies driven by Afghan nationals. Kelly’s duties included verifying the amounts of the fuel that were delivered at FOB Salerno and preparing and certifying documents that accounted for the fuel that was delivered.
From in or about November 2011 through January 2012, Kelly diverted and permitted the diversion of fuel delivery trucks from FOB Salerno to other locations, where the diverted fuel would then be removed from the trucks and stolen. To conceal this diversion, he falsely certified that the diverted fuel was in fact delivered at FOB Salerno.
Also according to court documents, in exchange for assisting in the theft of fuel as described, Kelly received approximately $57,000 from the Afghan trucking company. He admitted the amount of fuel he permitted to be diverted amounted to approximately 25,000 gallons. The United States Army paid approximately $4.00 per gallon for that fuel, and the loss to the government was approximately $100,000.
The case was investigated by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. This case was handled by Special Trial Attorney Mark H. Dubester, on detail from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky.