The U.S. Justice Department charged eight people, including six soldiers, with stealing more than $1 million worth of sensitive U.S. Army equipment and selling it on eBay to buyers in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Moldova, and other countries.
The soldiers, from Fort Campbell in Tennessee, stole equipment from the base and sold it to the other two defendants, who in turn sold the items online, the department said on October 6.
The items sold included sniper telescopes and rifle accessories, machine-gun parts and accessories, grenade-launcher sights, flight helmets, communication headsets, body armor and medical supplies, the government said.
Night-vision helmet mounts were sold to eBay customers in Russia, China, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Lithuania, Moldova, Malaysia, Romania, and Mexico.
Advanced communications headset helmets were sold to buyers in Russia and China and flight helmet mounts were shipped to those two countries as well as to Kazakhstan, the government said.
U.S. authorities are attempting to locate the buyers and retrieve the equipment, which they said was "extraordinarily, inherently dangerous."
If convicted, the defendants could be jailed for up to five years and fined up to $250,000.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters