Female Army Sgt. Smuggled $1M
Apparently the fairy tale of soldiers making top dollar, owning lovely homes, obtaining respectable jobs with much appreciation and respect waiting for them when they return home from fighting wars was just that to one particular female soldier who allegedly shipped herself $1 million dollars during her tour in Afghanistan!
A 30-year-old female soldier from Fayetteville, North Carolina is being accused of smuggling $1 million from Afghanistan which she allegedly spent on plastic surgery, vehicles and vacations.
Former Fort Bragg Staff Sgt. Tonya Long was responsible for inspecting soldiers belongings and along with another accomplice she allegedly shipped the money to herself back home!
She has been ordered to pay back the money as well as being sentenced to five years in prison and three years probation after release.
Wonder what would make her do something like that?
Former Fort Bragg Staff Sgt. Tonya Long of Fayetteville was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for smuggling more than $1 million out of Afghanistan, U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker’s office said.
Long, 30, also known as Tonya Long Keebaugh, will have three years of supervised release following her incarceration and is to pay $1 million in restitution.
Long was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle in Elizabeth City on charges of bulk cash smuggling and aiding and abetting the smuggling.
According to investigators and the prosecutor, Long was assigned to the 189th Combat Sustainment Battalion attached to the 7th Special Forces Group.
During a deployment from January 2008 to April 2009, she was a customs inspector – she inspected personal property of military service members that was being loaded into containers for shipment back to the United States.
Walker’s spokesman said Long and a co-conspirator, whose name is being kept secret, took the money in a double-billing kickback scheme. The co-conspirator collected the money and Long helped smuggle it to the United States in her customs inspector role, the spokesman said.
“Tonya Long betrayed her team and while other soldiers were fighting for our country, she was stealing money intended to support the mission,” Walker said in a news release. “Her conduct undermined her fellow soldiers and our nation’s reputation. This sentence demonstrates that conduct like this will not be tolerated.”
Long and the co-conspirator had an apartment together in the U.S. where they hid the money in a safe, Walker’s spokesman said.
The smuggling was committed in January and February 2009, a court document says.
Long spent nearly $500,000 on herself and her family, the release says.
It says her purchases included a vacation, a car, personal surgeries, and a tractor-trailer.
Court records suggest that someone else is facing charges, but those records are sealed.