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2 get prison terms after selling sensitive military gear from Camp Mabry

Camp Mabry Entrance (David E Hollingsworth/WikiCommons)

Two former government employees were sentenced Thursday to a few years in prison after they pleaded guilty to selling sensitive military equipment stolen from Camp Mabry, some of which was recovered.

Joseph Mora, a 36-year-old who worked as a program analyst for the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office, was sentenced to three years. Cristal Avila, a 27-year-old who worked for the Texas Army National Guard, was sentenced to two years.

They also were ordered to pay $2.4 million in restitution for equipment that was not recovered, said Daryl Fields, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Investigators analyzed Mora’s financial records and found that he made more than $563,000 from the scheme and Avila made more than $34,000, officials said.

From 2016 to 2019, Mora and Avila stole large quantities of government property, including scopes, infrared laser aiming devices and thermal night vision goggles, that were worth an estimated $2.4 million, according to court records. Mora and Avila later sold the stolen goods on eBay and elsewhere.

“These schemes could potentially provide an opportunity for foreign adversaries to obtain sensitive U.S. equipment,” said agent Shane Folden with Homeland Security Investigations.

Mora and Avila each pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property in August.

Mora began working in 2013 at a warehouse at Camp Mabry, a National Guard installation in West Austin, where he was responsible for receiving and storing military equipment, court records say.

Mora began stealing items from the warehouse in December 2016, a court plea agreement says. Avila would then falsify or withhold data from the property tracking logs she was responsible for maintaining.

Mora compensated Avila once an item sold online, records say.

Federal agents searched the homes of Mora and Avila in 2019 and found a pallet of night vision goggles, tripods, satellite phones, firearm scopes, radios and heavy-duty cases containing aiming lights at Mora’s home, officials said.


(c) 2020 Austin American-Statesman

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