Former U.S. Army Specialist Indicted for Taking Bribes While Deployed in Afghanistan
A former specialist with the U.S. Army has been indicted for accepting bribes from Afghan truck drivers at Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Gardez, Afghanistan, in exchange for allowing the drivers to take thousands of gallons of fuel from the base for resale on the black market.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore of the Middle District of Georgia made the announcement after the indictment was unsealed today.
Anthony Don Tran, 28, of Stockton, California, was indicted on March 10, 2015, in the Middle District of Georgia for one count of conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official and one count of bribery of a public official. Tran was arrested in Santa Clara, California, on March 11, 2015.
According to allegations in the indictment, from December 2012 to May 2013, Tran conspired with James Norris and Seneca Hampton, both sergeants in Tran’s unit, to solicit and accept cash bribes from local Afghan truck drivers in exchange for permitting the truck drivers to take thousands of gallons of fuel from the base. The indictment specifically alleges that on Jan. 26, 2013, Tran accepted $20,000 in exchange for permitting an Afghan driver to leave FOB Gardez with nearly 13,000 gallons of fuel purchased by the U.S. government.
The charges contained in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Norris and Hampton each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official and one count of money laundering on Feb. 11, 2015, and are scheduled to be sentenced on May 21, 2015.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Defense Contract Audit Agency, Investigative Support Division. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney John Keller of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.