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Brooklyn wholesaler admits conspiracy to sell $20 million in counterfeit Chinese products for US troops in Afghanistan
PROVIDENCE — A clothing and goods wholesaler from Brooklyn pleaded guilty Thursday to participating in a conspiracy to sell more than $20 million worth of Chinese-made counterfeit goods to the U.S. military and other government purchasers and suppliers.
Among the items that Ramin Kohanbash, 49, and others arranged to counterfeit were 200 military parkas used by U.S. Air Force personnel stationed in Afghanistan, according to a news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Weisman. The parkas were falsely represented to be genuine Multicam fabric, which incorporates technology designed to be more difficult to detect with night-vision goggles.
Other items carried labels that made false representations of product safety, such as stating that hoods intended for military and law enforcement personnel were flame-resistant, when they were not.
"Our men and women in uniform confront danger every day to defend this nation and its values," Weisman said. "The uniforms they wear and the gear they carry are meant to protect them as they carry out their mission, not to put them in harm's way. This case should serve notice that suppliers who do business with the military must comply with the law, or they will be held to account."
Weisman said counterfeit goods were shipped from China to Kohanbash and sold to other wholesalers who ultimately marketed and sold them to government buyers.
Kohanbash pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods in U.S. District Court, Providence. He is scheduled to be sentenced by by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith on Jan. 17.
©2019 The Providence Journal (Providence, R.I.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
13 Marines at Camp Pendleton charged with crimes related to smuggling of undocumented immigrants from Mexico
Thirteen Marines have been formally charged for their alleged roles in a human smuggling ring, according to a press release from 1st Marine Division released on Friday.
The Marines face military court proceedings on various charges, from "alleged transporting and/or conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants" to larceny, perjury, distribution of drugs, and failure to obey an order. "They remain innocent until proven guilty," said spokeswoman Maj. Kendra Motz.
The recruiting commercials for the Army Reserve proclaim "one weekend each month," but the real-life Army Reserve might as well say "hold my beer."
That's because the weekend "recruiting hook" — as it's called in a leaked document compiled by Army personnel for the new chief of staff — reveal that it's, well, kinda bullshit.
When they're not activated or deployed, most reservists and guardsmen spend one weekend a month on duty and two weeks a year training, according to the Army recruiting website. But that claim doesn't seem to square with reality.
"The Army Reserve is cashing in on uncompensated sacrifices of its Soldiers on a scale that must be in the tens of millions of dollars, and that is a violation of trust, stewardship, and the Army Values," one Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, who also complained that his battalion commander "demanded" that he be available at all times, told members of an Army Transition Team earlier this year.
According to an internal Army document, soldiers feel that the service's overwhelming focus on readiness is wearing down the force, and leading some unit leaders to fudge the truth on their unit's readiness.
"Soldiers in all three Army Components assess themselves and their unit as less ready to perform their wartime mission, despite an increased focus on readiness," reads the document, which was put together by the Army Transition Team for new Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and obtained by Task & Purpose. "The drive to attain the highest levels of readiness has led some unit leaders to inaccurately report readiness."
Lt. Gen. Eric J. Wesley, who served as the director of the transition team, said in the document's opening that though the surveys conducted are not scientific, the feedback "is honest and emblematic of the force as a whole taken from seven installations and over 400 respondents."
Those surveyed were asked to weigh in on four questions — one of which being what the Army isn't doing right. One of the themes that emerged from the answers is that "[r]eadiness demands are breaking the force."
The Army thinks China will surpass Russia by 2028. Here is how the service is planning to take them on.
If you've paid even the slightest bit of attention in the last few years, you know that the Pentagon has been zeroing in on the threat that China and Russia pose, and the future battles it anticipates.
The Army has followed suit, pushing to modernize its force to be ready for whatever comes its way. As part of its modernization, the Army adopted the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) concept, which serves as the Army's main war-fighting doctrine and lays the groundwork for how the force will fight near-peer threats like Russia and China across land, air, sea, cyber, and space.
But in an internal document obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army Transition Team for the new Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, argues that China poses a more immediate threat than Russia, so the Army needs make the Asia-Pacific region its priority while deploying "minimal current conventional forces" in Europe to deter Russia.
In leaked documents, Army family reports waiting weeks to have gas line and roof leaks fixed in on-base housing
As the saying goes, you recruit the soldier, but you retain the family.
And according to internal documents obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army still has substantial work to do in addressing families' concerns.