Local News

Fort Bragg soldier pleads guilty to stealing $422K worth of fuel

Posted October 6, 2014 4:11 p.m. EDT

Fort Bragg sign

— A Fort Bragg soldier pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to stealing more than $422,000 worth of fuel while serving in Afghanistan in 2012.

During his deployment, Spc. Alexander Swim, 25, served as a mechanic at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Sharana, where he worked at the fuel point and performed maintenance on military vehicles.

Investigators said Swim and another U.S. soldier, James Edward Travis, who was previously indicted in the case, engaged in a fuel theft scheme. On multiple occasions, Swim was paid to escort a foreign national driver to FOB Sharana to load fuel belonging to the U.S. into the driver's truck. Swim then escorted the driver with the stolen fuel off the site, investigators said.

Agents determined that 182,815 gallons of fuel were stolen. Based on an average price of $2.31 per gallon for JP-8 fuel, the loss from the fuel theft scheme to the government is estimated at $422,302.65.

Swim "betrayed his unit, the U.S. Army and the nation for personal profit," John Strong, special agent in charge of the FBI in North Carolina, said in a statement.

Swim will be sentenced at a later date. The maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment and/or a $250,00 fine, restitution and forfeiture in the amount of $15,000.