COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Two active duty soldiers are among four people accused of running an elaborate theft ring based at Fort Carson. The stolen items range from protective vests to a robot worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Approximately $500,000 worth of equipment has been stolen from the Army post in the Colorado Springs area since last November and then pedaled across the world. Federal agents met one of the suspects in a Safeway parking lot to purchase some of the items. Now the feds believe they have shut down an extremely dangerous inside job.
Those arrested have been identified as Daniel Francis, 50, of Colorado Springs; Staff Sgt. Benjamin Thomas Cardwell, 41, of Fort Carson; Sgt. Johnny Dominic Herrera, 29, of Fort Carson; and former soldier Todd Crow, 34, of Colorado Springs.
An angry Suzanne Twohig sounded off after the arrest of her Colorado Springs neighbor, Daniel Francis, a civilian.
“Who is he to do this us? I’m furious,” Twohig said.
Francis, along with the three other suspects, is accused of selling the stolen Fort Carson equipment online. The stolen items include a $187,000 urban robot, which sold on eBay for $30,000. Other items include infrared laser devices and high-tech headsets.
“We don’t have enough money to take care of our wounded warriors, and somebody comes along and steals things from Fort Carson to sell them for their own profit? That is absolutely absurd,” Twohig said.
The FBI says Francis sold the equipment after the other three men stole the items from their supply company.
Twohig said she and several other neighbors wondered about the heavy traffic in front of Francis’ house.
“At 11 p.m. they still had trucks and cars and stuff all over the driveway … I kept saying, ‘What are they selling?’ ” she said.
According to court documents, the FBI arrested Francis April 15 when he brought a rifle and night-vision goggles to a meeting with an undercover agent.
As Francis and the others await their fate, Twohig has a message for the man who could soon be her former neighbor.
“You should be ashamed of yourself,” she said. “I hope they give you at least 20 years.”
Francis won’t face 20 years. If convicted, he and the others face up to 5 years in a federal prison and $250,000 in fines. Francis is being held on a $30,000 bond and will be back in court on May 20.