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2 Active Soldiers Accused Of Major Thefts From Fort Carson

DENVER (CBS4)- Two active duty Fort Carson soldiers and one former soldier are among the four suspects charged with theft from the Army post near Colorado Springs.

Four men, including two active duty members of the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Carson, have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government property.

Those arrested have been identified as Daniel Francis, 50, of Colorado Springs, Staff Sergeant Benjamin Thomas Cardwell, 41, of Fort Carson, Sergeant Johnny Dominic Herrera, 29, of Fort Carson and former soldier Todd Crow, 34, of Colorado Springs.

They are accused of stealing from Fort Carson and selling those items on eBay. The three associated with the Army post, Cardwell, Herrera and Crow, had access to massive supply garages. Some of the suspects also oversaw the paperwork that tracks the equipment.

According to court documents, the men would deliver the goods to Francis' home in Colorado Springs. Once the items were sold, he would divide the money among the men from Fort Carson. Text messages indicate he was paying them an estimated $30,000 each over the course of a year.

Some of those items include a $190,000 robot, a laser range finder, a thermal monocular, high-tech headsets and body armor.

An urban robot the soldiers are accused of stealing (credit: CBS)

"Dedicated investigative work by a team of federal law enforcement agents led to the identification of a ring of thieves who are alleged to have stolen government property, selling it through a co-conspirator," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "The stolen goods covered the gamut, from batteries, to MREs, to sensitive technology, and was mostly sold on eBay. This investigation is ongoing as we seek to track what was taken, where it went, and what was sold, and then follow the money."

Investigators admit they haven't been able to track down every piece of equipment that was stolen and purportedly sold online.

Authorities believe Francis sent the stolen military equipment to buyers around the world.

Investigators continue to search that there may have been more people involved than those initially charged.

All four appeared before a federal judge on Tuesday morning for detention hearings.

If convicted, each defendant faces up to five years in federal prison and up to $250,000 fine.

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