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Press Release

Member Of United States Army Sentenced To 10 Month Sentence For Theft And Sale Of Military-Issued Night Vision Technology

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Stole Over $100,000 Worth of Military-Grade Equipment and Sold It On eBay Website and Over the Internet

Earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn, Johnathan Serrano, a member of the United States Army, was sentenced to a 10 month sentence (6 months’ imprisonment and 4 months’ home confinement), ordered to forfeit $10,200 in criminal proceeds to the government, and ordered to pay $67,000 in restitution to the United States Army following his conviction after a guilty plea on April 26, 2016 to one felony count of conspiracy to steal and sell government property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.  Today’s sentencing proceeding was held before Judge I. Leo Glasser.

The conviction stems from Serrano’s leadership in a scheme to steal and sell night-vision devices and components stolen from the United States Army.  Night vision technology allows images to be produced and seen in near-total darkness conditions and is a vital tool for the military.  Night vision devices acquired by the United States military, such as the items stolen and sold by the defendant, contain components made to military specifications and are required by the military to be rendered useless for their intended purpose prior to leaving government control.  The United States military’s policies prohibit the private sale of fully-functional military-issued night vision equipment. 

The defendant is an active-duty member of the United State Army, who was stationed at Fort Bliss base in El Paso Texas and assigned to perform repairs of radio technology.  Between April 2014 and May 2015, Serrano used his access to the repair facilities at the military base to steal numerous components for night vision devices.  To conceal his role in the conspiracy, Serrano had his cousin, co-conspirator Alan Serrano, and another individual, sell the devices over the internet via the eBay website and email communications with prospective buyers.[1]  The investigation revealed that the conspirators sold or attempted to sell over $10,000 worth of night vision equipment, including to a purchaser in Brooklyn, New York.  Additionally, five night vision devices and 50 boxes with serial numbers matching night vision components were recovered from the conspirators’ residences.  In total, Serrano and his co-conspirators stole over $120,000 worth of equipment from the United States Army.

The sentence was announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Craig Rupert, Special Agent-in-Charge, Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Services (DCIS), New York; Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York; and Diego G. Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig R. Heeren.

The Defendants:

El Paso, Texas
Age: 31

El Paso, Texas
Age: 25



[1] On March 4, 2016, Alan Serrano pled guilty to unlawful sale of government property.  His sentencing is scheduled for tomorrow before Judge Glasser.

Updated August 9, 2016

Intellectual Property
National Security