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Hawaii News

Kaneohe Marine stole more items

Nelson Daranciang

A former Kaneohe Marine awaiting sentencing for conspiring to sell stolen military night vision scopes stole other military equipment and sent them to his parents on the mainland, according to federal court records in Tennessee.

Ronald William Abram, III, pleaded guilty in federal court last month to the conspiracy and to stealing a military M-4 rifle and selling it to another Marine. He faces up to five years in prison for the conspiracy and up to 10 years for stealing and selling the rifle when he is sentenced in October.

Abram admitted stealing the rifle when he was briefly assigned to work at a Marine Corps Base Hawaii armory unit in September 2008.

He is one of five Kaneohe Marines federal law enforcement officials arrested in a sting at Ala Moana Center Oct. 28, 2008. The Marines were there to sell eight night vision devices to a cooperating defendant for $20,000.

Authorities later arrested two more Kaneohe Marines in connection with the sale of other night vision devices.

After Abram’s arrest, his parents, Ronald William Abram Jr. and Carol Hurst Abram of Bluff City, Tenn., called their son’s wife on Oahu and directed her to hide or get rid of any property that might implicate her husband, according to the parents’ plea agreements.

Federal officials later recovered 51 military items hidden in the Abrams’ Tennessee home while executing a search warrant in April 2009, according to the indictment against them.

The items include body armor vests, ballistic panels, ammo magazines for military rifles and pistols, optical devices, flashlights and fire-resistant gloves.

The Abrams each pleaded guilty earlier this month to obstructing justice. They also admitted pawning a military rifle, hand grip, flashlight, case and a small arm combination laser and infrared aiming and illuminating device.

They each face up to 10 years in prison when they are sentenced in December.

Their son is one of three former or current Kaneohe Marines to be prosecuted in federal court for selling ITT Nightquest PVS-14 Gen 3 Night Vision Monoculars to customers overseas. The device is a controlled item under International Trafficking in Arms Regulations and can be exported only by someone who is licensed and registered with the U.S. State Department.

The government dismissed charges against the other four Marines to face prosecution by the Marine Corps.


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