Saturday, August 20, 2005

Schofield soldier guilty of
selling armor on eBay

He is put on probation and fined
$2,000 for trying to pawn the
specialized equipment

A Schofield Barracks soldier has been convicted of illegally selling five body-armor vests on eBay, an Internet auction site, and one protective body-armor insert via e-mail.

Staff Sgt. Saint Clarence D. Avery, who is assigned to the 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade, was charged in federal district court in Philadelphia for selling body armor between December 2003 and January 2004 for nearly $2,800.

At the time, Avery was a supply sergeant assigned to Charlie Company 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Regiment -- a unit of the 82nd Infantry Division -- at Fort Bragg, N.C.

On eBay, Avery said he was in Philadelphia, although he lived in North Carolina, according to the federal indictment.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported yesterday that U.S. District Judge John Padova spared Avery on Thursday from having to go to prison, which would have meant immediate dismissal from the Army. Instead, Avery was placed on probation. He has two more years left on his enlistment.

There was no immediate word from Schofield Barracks, where Avery is stationed, about whether he faces any additional punishments.

Padova's sentence apparently was based on letters from Avery's past and current commanders who praised his service record.

His current commander, Lt. Col. Robert Mundell, who heads the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division Light, said, "His service is best characterized as exceptional."

Padova fined Avery $2,000 and said he will be on probation for five years, the newspaper said.

Avery, the father of five, sold the body-armor vests and protective inserts to make extra money at Christmas in 2003 before he deployed to Iraq, the newspaper reported.

The eight-page federal indictment said Avery stole five body vests and a pair of protective inserts, which cannot be sold as surplus equipment, worth $3,300, while working as a supply specialist for Charlie Company.

"The body armor was intended to be issued to soldiers who were being deployed to serve during a time of war in Afghanistan and Iraq," the indictment said.

E-mail to City Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- http://archives.starbulletin.com