More than a million dollars' worth of military equipment was stolen out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky and sold online, according to a testimony from a federal trial last week.
John Roberts, 27, of Clarksville, Tenn., told the court this week that he sold the equipment on eBay not knowing it had been stolen, saying, "I didn't try to hide anything."
"That's why I filed taxes on everything I sold on eBay. I thought it was okay," he said.
Roberts claims that the soldiers who sold him the equipment from Fort Campbell promised him that it was all either legally purchased from other soldiers or just items being thrown out anyway, as reported by The Tennessean.
Much of the equipment has already been resold to buyers all over the globe including Russia, China, Mexico, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. The equipment ranged from machine guns and rifle parts to helmets, medical supplies, sights, and body armor, just to name a few.
Cory Wilson, a former business partner of Roberts, testified that the duo uncovered soldiers trying to sell items using classified ads or even Facebook. The two also shared a warehouse in Clarksville where they stored the purchased equipment, but they were reportedly not splitting the funds. Roberts had claimed the two just had a combined interest in selling things on eBay.
Unlike Roberts, Wilson plead guilty to buying and selling stolen military equipment, wire fraud, and violating the Arms Export Control Act. Wilson joins six soldiers who also made plea deals in exchange for testimonies on the case.
Michael Barlow, a former Fort Campbell platoon sergeant who plead guilty to theft of government property and conspiracy, testified that the scheme had begun as a small operation that grew exponentially over time.
Barlow testified that Roberts handed him a "Christmas list" of things he wanted the soldiers to steal, refuting Roberts' claim of ignorance. A 14-member jury began deliberations on this case on Thursday.
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