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Florida executives head to prison for selling sub-par body armor to US troops
The owner and a top executive of a Boynton Beach-based security products firm have both been sentenced to less than a year in prison after being convicted of charges of selling sub-par body armor to the U.S. government.
Dan Thomas Lounsbury, Jr., owner of Tactical Products Group, was sentenced to 10 months in prison last week for selling the government $3,500 worth of body armor that federal prosecutors said put troops in danger.
Andres Lopez-Munoz, vice president of sales and federal contracting for the company that had a retail store on Corporate Drive, was handed a four-month sentence. Both men agreed to reimburse the government for the money it paid for the 10 suits of armor.
Both were convicted in February by a federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, of three counts of wire fraud along with charges of conspiracy to defraud the government and making false statements.
Saying the men demonstrated "callous and reckless disregard for the lives and safety of U.S. personnel in the field," federal prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga to send both Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz to prison for three years.
"He engaged in a potentially catastrophic deadly game by vowing to supply the U.S. Government with a specific type of body armor and instead deliberately provided them falsely-labeled, out-of-warranty, cheaper body armor," assistant U.S. attorneys Raj Parekh and Grace Hill wrote of Lopez-Munoz. They made similar comments about Lounsbury.
Attorneys for the two men disputed the prosecutors' characterization. Neither Lounsbury, of West Palm Beach, or Lopez-Munoz, who lives in Boynton, knew that they were supplying armor to the U.S. Department of Defense that would be used to protect soldiers, their attorneys said in court papers.
In the past, the company worked as a subcontractor, supplying armor to the U.S. State Department. In those cases, the armor was used by "foreign militaries or police forces," wrote attorney Stuart Sears, who represented Lopez-Munoz.
In those cases, the prime contractors "routinely accepted and sought lower cost substitutes for the requested products, including body armor and other tactical gear," Sears wrote.
Prosecutors countered that the men went to great lengths to hide their misdeeds by having fake labels sewn in the armor to make it appear it met the government's specifications.
Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz "endangered the lives and safety of our country's heroes who are courageously serving overseas to protect the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic," they wrote.
©2019 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
The U.S. Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon effort looked a lot more possible this week as the three competing weapons firms displayed their prototype 6.8mm rifles and automatic rifles at the 2019 Association of the United States Army's annual meeting.
Just two months ago, the Army selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems inc., Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc. for the final phase of the NGSW effort — one of the service's top modernization priorities to replace the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon in infantry and other close-combat units.
Army officials, as well as the companies in competition, have been guarded about specific details, but the end result will equip combat squads with weapons that fire a specially designed 6.8mm projectile, capable of penetrating enemy body armor at ranges well beyond the current M855A1 556mm round.
There have previously been glimpses of weapons from two firms, but this year's AUSA was the first time all three competitors displayed their prototype weapons, which are distinctly different from one another.
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.
VISTA —An Iraq war veteran who said he killed a stranger in Oceanside at the behest of a secret agency that controlled his brain was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The sentence for Mikhail Schmidt comes less than a month after a Superior Court jury in North County found Schmidt guilty of first-degree murder of Jacob Bravo, a stranger that Schmidt spotted, followed and stabbed to death on March 8, 2017.
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Strongsville woman convicted of fleecing an ailing Korean War veteran out of much of his life savings was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison.
Latasha Wisniewski, 38, feigned a sexual interest in Charles Bauer in late 2017 by taking the 88-year-old widower to a plastic surgeon's office and asking him to pay for breast implants. She then withdrew more than $140,000 from Bauer's accounts over the following months, according to court records.
Mark Mitchell is stepping down as the acting assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, a position he has held since late June, a defense official confirmed on Tuesday.
No information was immediately available about why Mitchell decided to resign. His last day will be Nov. 1 and he will be replaced by Thomas Alexander, who is currently leading the Defense Department's counternarcotics efforts, the defense official told Task & Purpose.