- The Washington Times - Monday, July 27, 2020

A former supply officer assigned to a U.S. Army Special Forces company in North Carolina stole more than 40 high-tech night-vision goggles from the unit — valued at more than $500,000 — and planned to sell them to a local military surplus store, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Army Chief Warrant Officer Bryan Craig Allen had been assigned as a Property Book Officer for the Fort Bragg-based Green Beret unit during the investigation into the theft allegations, federal prosecutors said.

Allen, who transferred to Fort Polk, Louisiana, during the investigation, was sentenced last week to 25 months in jail and ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution to the government following his conviction for theft and aggravated identity theft, officials said.

The investigation that ultimately led to Allen’s conviction began in February 2019 when a search warrant was served at Red Horse Military Surplus in Fayetteville, North Carolina. According to court records in the case, the business was suspected of dealing in stolen U.S. military property, including night-vision devices that are used by soldiers to allow them to operate in the dark.

Police from several federal and local agencies seized 13 devices, known as AN/PSQ-20s. They have been designated as U.S. military sensitive items that are made to military specifications. When no longer in service, they are required to undergo “demilitarization” and be disposed of, according to the court records in the case.

During the follow-up investigation, agents with Defense Criminal Investigative Service and Army CID tracked the seized devices to more than 40 that had been deleted from official supply records of two companies from the 4th Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group between April and June 2018.

Allen — the Property Book Officer for the Special Forces battalion — accessed the unit’s supply records and deleted the night-vision devices from the list, according to court records.

On at least one occasion, Allen forged the signature of another soldier in the unit to cover his theft, prosecutors said.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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