An Army warrant officer was sentenced Thursday to 25 months in prison and ordered to repay $250,000 for stealing military equipment and for aggravated identity theft, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Louisiana native CW2 Bryan Craig Allen, 35, used his position as property book officer to steal 43 unique AN/PSQ-20s night vision devices from two companies within 4th Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, federal prosecutors say.
Allen would cover the thefts by decreasing the electronic inventory in the unit’s property books and at times explained the decrease by saying that the items were transferred to another unit, according to court records.
He also forged the signature of other personnel on receipts for the items to falsely document the equipment transfers to a phony unit, the court records state.
The NVGs were stolen between April and June 2018. Some of them were later sold to Stratton “Mac” Beaubien, the owner of Red Horse Military Surplus in Fayetteville, the town outside Fort Bragg, according to a criminal complaint.
Army CID agents honed in on Beaubien when they found an eBay user selling military equipment with some of the transactions tied to Beaubien’s shop.
A search warrant was executed on Red Horse Military Surplus in late February 2019. Beaubien consented to a search of his cell phone by federal agents, revealing text messages from Allen offering to sell the NVGs for $2,500 each.
“Ill check with my guy. They have battery packs and mounts!?” a text message back to Allen on April 9, 2018, reads.
“Yep,” Allen responded, and following up days later by saying, “I got one more 20 if your [sic] interested.”
During their search of the Red Horse shop in February 2019, Army CID and Department of Homeland Security agents seized 13 of the 43 total NVGs removed from 3rd Group’s property books a year prior.
The court records do not detail whether the rest of the NVGs were recovered. The devices are considered sensitive military equipment and labeled with serial numbers.
The devices Allen stole, AN/PSQ-20s, are 3rd generation monocular NVGs that were fielded in the late-2000s to replace older PVS-7 and PVS-14 NVGs. They are made to military specifications and require “demilitarization” before being disposed of, according to Department of Defense policies.
A federal case linked to Beaubien also remains open, according to court records. The last filing, in December, indicates Beaubien has entered plea negotiations with U.S. attorneys.
Beaubien’s shop is still open, and he remains the owner, but he was not available for comment when Army Times called the establishment on Friday afternoon.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.