Former soldier sentenced for helping to steal over $2 million worth of equipment

Fox News reported that a former soldier was sentenced to a year and a half last week for her role in helping to steal  $2.1 million worth of equipment. 

Thirty-year-old Jessica Elaintrell Smith entered a guilty plea in April to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.

Prosecutors alleged that Smith worked alongside co-conspirators Nathan Nichols and Brandon Dominic Brown in 2021 to abscond with a collection of rifle scopes, radios, and night vision equipment from Fort Hood, located in Killeen, Texas.

“A smash-and-grab”

“It was a smash-and-grab,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Stacey Dunn said on Tuesday according to The Killeen Daily Herald. “They took whatever they could get.”

The paper noted that Smith expressed remorse when providing a statement before her sentence was read out, saying, “I want a better reality. I want to do better in life, and I’ll never be in this situation again.”

Fox News pointed out that this is only the latest in a series of scandals to befall Fort Hood following the murder 20-year-old Army specialist Vanessa Guillen.

Her killing came in the wake of multiple suicides as well as complaints that the base’s commanders tolerated sexual harassment.

“Significant changes”

A spokeswoman for the base was quoted as telling Fox News, “In the last two years, Fort Hood has made significant changes across its units and across the base.”

“At III Armored Corps we focus on People, one of the initiatives that was born as a result of the Fort Hood Investigation Review Committee (FHIRC) findings was ‘The People First Center,'” she continued.

“At the ‘People First Center,’ we conduct people first training that certifies select leaders on special duty skills to be advocates, and all Soldiers experience immersive lanes that include: Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program, Suicide Prevention, Spiritual Readiness, and other training that reinforce trust at every level,” the spokeswoman insisted

“While the FHIRC report focused on the command climate and culture at Fort Hood, the findings impact the entire Army and more than 1.2 million Soldiers,” she added.

“The People First Task Force is developing multiple plans to address FHIRC recommendations for combating sexual harassment, sexual assault, violent crimes, and other harmful behaviors that exist in our ranks across the Army.”

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