Two Members of the U.S. Army Plead Guilty to Bribery Charges Related to Fuel Theft in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON – Two members of the U.S. Army have each pleaded guilty to a bribery charge for their roles in a scheme to steal jet fuel at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Fenty near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced today.
Sergeant Regionald Dixon, 30, pleaded guilty yesterday in the District of Hawaii to one count of bribery and Specialist Larry Emmons, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery on June 8, 2012. Dixon and Emmons, both of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi.
According to court documents, on or about Jan. 1, 2012, Dixon and another co-conspirator sergeant in the U.S. Army, agreed to participate in a scheme to steal JP8 jet fuel from FOB Fenty. Specialist Emmons joined the scheme when he returned to FOB Fenty from midtour leave on or about Jan. 22, 2012.
According to court documents, Dixon, Emmons and others surreptitiously filled 3,000-gallon trucks with JP8 jet fuel. The trucks were owned by an Afghan military trucking contractor and were termed “jingle trucks” for their bright adornments. When filling the jingle trucks, the defendants and their co-conspirators took steps to conceal their activities, including filling the trucks in clandestine locations and at times of day least likely to arouse suspicion.
Court documents state that Emmons or a co-conspirator created fraudulent transportation movement requests (TMR), military documents that officially authorize the movement of fuel from FOB Fenty to another location, usually another military base in that geographic area. Emmons and his co-conspirator gave the fraudulent TMRs to the drivers of the jingle trucks, who presented the fraudulent TMRs at the secure departure checkpoint at FOB Fenty to justify their departure with a truckload of JP8 jet fuel.
In return for their official acts in facilitating the theft of fuel from FOB Fenty, Dixon, Emmons and a co-conspirator were paid $6,000 per 3,000-gallon truckload of JP8 jet fuel.
As part of their plea agreements, Dixon and Emmons agreed to forfeit various amounts of cash seized from them or their residences or voluntarily surrendered to federal agents.
At sentencing, scheduled for Oct. 4, 2012, Dixon and Emmons each face up to 15 years in prison.
These cases are being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Mark W. Pletcher of the Fraud Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. The cases were investigated by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction; the Department of the Army, Criminal Investigations Division; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the FBI; and the Department of the Air Force, Office of Special Investigations. Valuable assistance was also provided by the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.