Texas Woman Admits Illegally Exporting Advanced Combat Optical Gunsights, Sentenced To Prison
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JANIECE MICHELLE HOUGH, 41, of Kempner, Texas, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of smuggling goods from the United States. The charge stems from HOUGH’s sale of two Advanced Combat Optical Gunsights (ACOGs) destined for Germany in violation of the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations.
Following her plea of guilty, Judge Underhill sentenced HOUGH to six months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, the first eight months of which she must serve in home confinement. HOUGH was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and to forfeit $198,054.
According to court documents and statements made in court, HOUGH worked for a government contractor and was based at Fort Hood in Texas. On the side, she operated an online business selling surplus military clothing and equipment on eBay. While working at Fort Hood, HOUGH purchased military equipment from U.S. Army personnel, including Michael Bartch, for re-sale online. In June 2010, HOUGH sold and shipped two ACOGs to an individual in Connecticut with the understanding that the AGOGs were destined for Germany.
HOUGH did not have a license from the U.S. State Department, which is required to export ACOGs and other items on the U.S. Munitions List.
Bartch, of Copperas Cove, Texas, was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas. On April 17, 2013, he was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment.
In the District of Connecticut, this case was investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Boston Field Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Edward Chang and Hal Chen.
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