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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.
‘We constantly have them on our minds’ — A little-known agency searches all over for the remains of MIA service members
The 80-minute ride each day to the site in Lang Son Province, Vietnam, through mostly unspoiled forestland and fields, reminded Air Force Master Sgt. Aliah Reyes a little of her hometown back in Maine.
The Eliot native recently returned from a 45-day mission to the Southeast Asian country, where she was part of a team conducting a search for a Vietnam War service member who went missing more than 45 years ago and is presumed dead.
Reyes, 38, enlisted in the Air Force out of high school and has spent more than half her life in military service. But she had never been a part of anything like this.
A U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle burst into flames on the side of a Polish roadway on Saturday, the Army confirmed on Monday.
A memo circulating over the weekend warning of a "possible imminent attack" against U.S. soldiers in Germany was investigated by Army officials, who found there to not be a serious threat after all.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Comedian Jon Stewart has joined forces with veterans groups to make sure service members who have been sickened by toxins from burn pits get the medical care they need, according to the Military Officers Association of America.
"Quite frankly, this is not just about burn pits — it's about the way we go to war as a country," Stewart said during his Jan. 17 visit to Washington, D.C. "We always have money to make war. We need to always have money to take care of what happens to people who are selfless enough, patriotic enough, to wage those wars on our behalf."