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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Fayetteville Black Market Purchaser Sentenced For Receiving Stolen Military Property From Fort Bragg, Nc

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that today in Federal court, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced JOSEPH W. HORNER, JR., 73, of Fayetteville, North Carolina to 24 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release.  HORNER was further ordered to pay restitution to the Department of Defense/United States Army in the amount of $277,901, which HORNER paid in full at his sentencing.  On August 17, 2016, HORNER pleaded guilty to a one-count Criminal Information which charged him with receiving stolen government property between July 2011 and February 2013.

According to the charges on file, the government’s factual proffer at the plea hearing, and other public information, HORNER was a civilian black market purchaser in Fayetteville who engaged in a scheme to buy stolen military property from Christopher A. Mann, a former sergeant assigned to the United States Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg.  During the offense period, Mann worked as a unit supply specialist in the 98th Civil Affairs Battalion, with responsibility for ordering and military supplies and equipment that was the property of the United States Department of Defense.

Mann used his position and privileges as a supply sergeant to coordinate the theft of bulk quantities of Meals-Ready-to-Eat or “MREs,” as well as assorted military equipment, including sunglasses and knives.  Mann transported many of the stolen items off the base to HORNER, who would buy them for a fraction of their cost to the government.  According to the investigation, between July 2011 and February 2013, HORNER purchased stolen military property from Mann valued at over $270,000.  Notably, in 2006, HORNER entered into and completed a pretrial diversion agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office for receiving stolen property that originated from Fort Bragg.

On May 4, 2016, Mann pleaded guilty to theft of government property and aiding and abetting in United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.  The charges related, in part, to Mann’s unlawful sales of stolen military property to HORNER.  On October 26, 2016, Mann was sentenced to 20 months of imprisonment, among other terms of the judgment. 

Investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command, Major Procurement Fraud Unit, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Adam F. Hulbig prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. 

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Updated December 8, 2016