- The Washington Times - Friday, August 7, 2020

A soldier and an ex-federal employee stole more than $1 million in military gear from a military camp in Texas and later sold some of the items on eBay, U.S. Department of Justice officials said.

On Thursday, 27-year-old Cristal Avila, a member of the Texas National Guard, pleaded guilty to theft of government property in federal court. Her accomplice, Joseph Mora, 35, entered the same guilty plea on Tuesday. Mr. Mora was formerly a program analyst at the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office warehouse.

They were accused of stealing numerous items from Camp Mabry in Austin, the headquarters for the Texas National Guard.

“By pleading guilty, Avila and Mora admitted to conducting a scheme to remove large quantities of sensitive military grade equipment, including rifle scopes, infrared laser aiming devices and thermal night vision goggles, from the facility without authorization,” according to officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas.

Mr. Mora later sold many of the stolen items on eBay and other means, federal prosecutors said.

Authorities raided Mr. Mora’s home in September and found dozens of items taken from Camp Mabry, including gas masks, mine detection sets and small arms tool kits, officials said.

They are facing 10 years in federal prison and have agreed to pay restitution for the stolen items. They also turned over any profits generated from the sales, officials said.

They remain free on bond pending sentencing which has not yet been scheduled.

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