Former PA Police Officer Pleads Guilty To Mail Fraud
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact ELIZABETH MORSE
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4855
Baltimore, Maryland –Marco DeCamillo, age 41, of Reading, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to one count of mail fraud stemming from the sales of misbranded body armor.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning, Special Agent in Charge Marlon V. Miller of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
According to his plea agreement, De Camillo was a former police officer in West Reading, PA. During his tenure as a police officer, DeCamillo also owned and operated a business called Mad Dragon Tactical (MDT). MDT sold law enforcement tactical gear, including body armor rifle plates, primarily on auction and shopping websites. DeCamillo, through MDT, sold approximately $169,000 worth of body armor that was falsely classified as certified by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). The NIJ conducts ballistic testing on body armor.
DeCamillo falsely claimed that certain MDT body armor shields would protect against armor piercing rounds, and that certain products were made with the more robust HY80 and A4600 Steel. DeCamillo used his status as a police officer to sell the misbranded body armor rifle plates, understanding that several of his buyers were in law enforcement and/or military or defense and were relying on DeCamillo’s representations regarding the quality and safety of his products.
According to the plea agreement, on December 17, 2015, a defense contractor and NIJ accredited laboratory (“victim lab”) contacted the FBI with a complaint regarding the misuse of one of their ballistic data test sheets by MDT. The FBI verified that DeCamillo, through MDT, had advertised online a set of body armor plates with altered ballistic test sheet from the victim lab that had been completed in 2013. The original 2013 test sheet provided the results of ballistic testing on a ballistic test shield, not steel body armor plates as advertised by MDT. FBI agents viewed several MDT listings online and observed photographs of altered ballistic test sheets uploaded to each listing.
In January and February 2016, the FBI in Maryland set up controlled purchases of the body armor online from MDT through an undercover identity. All three shipments purchased listed DeCamillo’s home address in West Reading, PA as the return address and were delivered from Pennsylvania to Maryland via US Mail. Inside each package was a hard copy of the altered ballistic test sheet (originating from the victim lab). On the HY80 altered ballistic test sheet there was an additional hand-written note in the bottom margin stating, “Note-During testing Armor plate stopped (2) .308 Armor piercing Black Tip AP and (3) 7.62x39 Chinese Steel Core Armor Piercing AP rounds.”
A search warrant was conducted on DeCamillo’s residence and numerous ballistics sheets that had been fraudulently altered with “white out” or other redactions were recovered from the residence.
DeCamillo was interviewed by the FBI and admitted that he knew that his MDT body armor was not NIJ certified.
DeCamillo faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for March 8, 2018 at 9:15 a.m.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the HSI and FBI for their work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel M. Yasser who is prosecuting the case.