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U.S. Air Force officer pleads guilty to selling stolen military gear

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. Air Force officer pleaded guilty on Tuesday to selling stolen high-grade military components without authorization, after peddling night-vision goggles and other gear on eBay, federal prosecutors said.

Zachary Sizemore, 24, of Dayton, Ohio, entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo in Brooklyn, New York. He faces up to 10 years in prison at his June 29 sentencing.

A federal public defender representing Sizemore did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Prosecutors said Sizemore had been stationed at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and assigned to safeguard more than $2.9 million of weapons, ammunition and other equipment.

But from July 2013 to November 2016, Sizemore stole gear such as the goggles and mini-thermal monoculars, which form images with thermal or infrared radiation, and sold at least 80 such items through online postings, prosecutors said.

Sizemore's eBay sales included a pair of goggles for $1,713 and a monocular for $3,450. His thefts caused more than $130,000 of losses, prosecutors said.

The defendant was arrested at Wright-Patterson on Nov. 29, less than two weeks after delivering a stolen monocular he had sold unwittingly to an undercover agent, court papers show.

An Air Force spokesman on Tuesday said Sizemore is still assigned to Wright-Patterson.

The case is U.S. v. Sizemore, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 17-cr-00087.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Andrew Hay and Leslie Adler)