Local News

Former Bragg soldier sentenced for cash smuggling

Posted March 5, 2013

— A former Fort Bragg soldier was sentenced Monday for her role in smuggling more than $1 million into the United States from Afghanistan, where she was deployed.

Tonya Long, 30, of Fayetteville, was ordered to serve five years in prison, followed by three years of probation, on charges of bulk cash smuggling and aiding and abetting, U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker said. She also was ordered to pay $1 million in restitution.

Long was an Army staff sergeant assigned to the 189th Combat Sustainment Battalion, attached to the 7th Special Forces Group. She was in Afghanistan from January 2008 to April 2009.

Long worked as a customs inspector during her deployment, inspecting the personal property of military service members that was loaded into containers for shipment back to the U.S.

Prosecutors said Long helped another service member in the scheme by stripping the components out of VCR players and hiding cash inside. She then cleared the containers through customs.

Prosecutors said neither Long nor her co-conspirator declared the currency when they entered the U.S. as required by law.

“Tonya Long betrayed her team and while other soldiers were fighting for our country, she was stealing money intended to support the mission,” Walker said. “Her conduct undermined her fellow soldiers and our nation’s reputation.”

He said Long spent nearly $500,000 on herself and her family. Her purchases included a car, surgeries, a vacation and an 18-wheel tractor-trailer.
 

5 Comments

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  • Gork Mar 5, 2:44 p.m.

    Yeah, all you folks are right - it was a sickening thing to do and not be wearing a suit...

  • Hatchcover Mar 5, 1:44 p.m.

    Wonder if she had a hand in the missing billion in Iraq? Let's see - she bought an 18 wheeler (maybe to carry the extra cash) then realized she couldn't drive it to Iraq from here!

  • unpublished_1 Mar 5, 1:04 p.m.

    Dang, I guess she was preparing for the furloughing! Lol.... Since they never said whr the $$$ came from I assume it just fell from the sky. Sure wish it would rain $$$ here. SMH... I wonder how many peep DIDN'T get caught?

  • torchhappysean Mar 5, 12:58 p.m.

    The story doesn't say where the cash came from... I wonder why???

  • SFSOLDIER Mar 5, 12:56 p.m.

    18 wheel tractor trailer? She can drive herself to the "pokey!" Her actions make me sick! Hope she suffers there in the "can"...