An Ohio man pleaded guilty to selling the U.S. military faulty self-locking bolts and counterfeit nuts and screws in federal court Monday,
Kathy Lynn Grey of The Columbus Dispatch reports.
Military criminal investigators also found steroids, a handgun, and 3000 rounds of ammunition in the home of Martin Dale Geyer.
As part of an agreement, Geyer pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud for shipping the defective nuts to the military, one count of possession of anabolic steroids and one count of possessing a firearm while using a controlled substance. He also agreed to pay restitution of $US41,340.
Michael E. Hampp, a special agent with the Defence Department’s Defence Criminal Investigative Service, told the Columbus Dispatch that some of the parts were even used nuclear power plants.
Grey writes that the parts are called “critical application items” because “failure of the parts could lead to injury or death to members of the military.”
Fraud with regard to military acquisition is not a new thing, in fact, it’s gotten steadily worse.
The Defence Science Board — a Pentagon research wing — warned specifically of using electronics manufactured in China in a report declassified just this January, writing that weapons could potentially “be directed against our own troops.”
Everything from faulty telecom equipment to faulty hand grenades and even bad aircraft parts have been foisted on a military eager to equip its troops fighting the war on terror. In the case of Geyer, the military opted to use what’s called “commercial, off-the-shelf technology” — which generally saves the Pentagon on research and development costs.
Prosecutors in a 2003 case claimed the defendant’s parts “could have led to plane crashes and weapons breakdowns.”
An ABC report on alleged faulty fuses cites a case in 2009 when five Marines were injured by a 40 mm grenade when it armed and exploded precisely at the minimum arming distance.
Certainly a large influx of cash has led to some of these hurried acquisitions. The Defence Department’s overall budget has seen massive increases since 2000, due in no small part to the global war on terror.
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