A military couple who ran a scheme to steal and sell more than $2 million in military equipment recently received convictions for their crimes.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced April 21 that Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christopher Hammond, 38, pleaded guilty earlier this month to theft and possession of government property and money laundering.

The soldier, assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, used his position to profit off the sale of items intended for his unit between 2018 and 2022.

His wife, Maj. Heather Hammond, 34, an ROTC instructor at Campbell University in North Carolina, was convicted by a federal jury for spending money laundering proceeds and for aiding and abetting.

“We are putting a stop to corruption at Ft. Bragg and those who use their official positions to line their own pockets,” U.S. Attorney Michael Easley said in the court release. “This gear was meant to support our troops in the fight for freedom, but the Hammonds sold it to retire in style.”

CW3 Hammond, who specialized in armament systems maintenance, requested supplies through the Department of Defense’s logistics network before reselling the items or keeping them for his personal use, Army Times previously reported.

The illicitly stolen gear ranged from military scopes and weapons parts to night vision goggles and all-terrain vehicles, the release said. The soldier also requested and received “electric guitars, bayonets, sword and scabbards,” according to the indictment.

The couple’s fraud was uncovered when a supplier noticed items procured under a government contract were being sent in for warranty repairs by a private individual.

An investigation traced about 200 items sold by CW3 Hammond, or held in his home, which were issued to his unit, the release said. It added that Maj. Hammond knowingly allowed the use of her bank accounts for the plot.

CW3 Hammond faces up to 30 years in prison plus fines and restitution when sentenced. His wife, Maj. Hammond, faces up to 10 years behind bars, plus fines.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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