News and Press Releases

Army Master Sergeant Sentenced For Violating Arms Export Control Act And International Traffic In Arms Regulations

October 30, 2012

Orlando, Florida - U.S. District Judge John Antoon, II sentenced Fidel Ignacio Cisneros (42, Lynnwood, WA) today to 46 months in federal prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release, for violating the Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Cisneros pleaded guilty on July 31, 2012.

According to court documents, from 2007 to 2010, Cisneros served as a soldier in the United States Army. He performed various missions in that capacity, in Iraq and elsewhere. During his deployment, Cisneros stole three Acquired Tactical Illuminating Laser Aimers (Atilla 200 lasers), an ACOG rifle scope, and several other items. He brought all of the items back to Orlando without first obtaining permission from the Department of Defense (DOD).

Using his eBay account, Cisneros auctioned one of the Atilla 200 lasers to the highest bidder. The Atilla 200 laser auction announcement noted, “Impossible to find on the international market.” Cisneros shipped the Atilla-200 laser from Orlando to a Japanese national in Tokyo, in exchange for $3,200. The Atilla 200 laser requires a license to be exported out of the United States, pursuant to the United States Munitions List (USML) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) Category XII(b). Cisneros did not have the appropriate license or permission to export the Atilla 200 laser to Japan.

In March 2010, Cisneros also auctioned a PEQ AN/PEQ-14 night vision pointer illuminator, which was shipped to California; a Thuraya Satellite phone docker FDU 2500, which was shipped to California; and a PEQ/Atilla 200 rail mounted laser, which was shipped to Nevada. On January 26, 2011, Cisneros admitted to Homeland Security Investigations agents that he knew it was probably wrong to sell the items and that civilians probably were not allowed to possess the items. That same day, agents recovered the remaining Atilla 200 lasers that Cisneros stole from the Army. Federal law enforcement agents in the United States and in Japan subsequently recovered all of the items Cisneros sold.

“We have protections in place to ensure that sensitive military technologies do not end up in the hands of our adversaries,” said Shane Folden, deputy special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations Tampa. “This individual, a former soldier, completely disregarded our country’s export laws solely to make a dollar.”

Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin, Southeast Field Office commented, “It is disheartening when a military member abandons his code of conduct and violates a position of trust for personal enrichment. The DCIS will continue to aggressively investigate these offenses to protect the integrity of the Department of Defense, especially those service members who are serving honorably and selflessly in Southwest Asia.”

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vincent A. Citro and Department of Justice Counterespionage Section Trial Attorney Casey Arrowood.

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