State News

February 13, 2008

Former Army official indicted on bribery charges

Submitted by the U.S. Attorney's Office

ATLANTA — Richard E. Long, 63, and Debra L. Long, 44, both of St. Augustine, Florida, and Mack S. Smith, 56, of Bladenboro, North Carolina, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy, bribery of a public official, wire fraud and money laundering.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, "We are committed to supporting the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, who volunteer to go into harm's way to protect our freedom. The defendants' alleged scheme betrayed those service members and the public by guaranteeing that the water supply for Army personnel risking their lives in hot and dry lands overseas came not from the most capable supplier, but from the one willing to bribe the key decision maker."

"It is disturbing to think that anyone would possibly compromise the most basic of human needs for our men and women in uniform who are fighting for this country in an incredibly harsh and dangerous environment," said Brigadier General Rodney Johnson, commanding general of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. "I can guarantee that we are aggressively investigating allegations of this nature and will do everything in our power to bring justice to those who attempt to defraud the government."

"The Defense Criminal Investigative Service remains committed to protecting the interests of the brave men and women serving their country at home and abroad through aggressively investigating criminal activity which impacts their welfare," said Sharon Woods, acting director. "Public corruption which threatens the interests of members of the military also causes Americans to lose faith in public officials, and leads to distrust in government. Especially alarming is the fact that this investigation involved contracts calling for production of safe drinking water for U.S. troops in geographical areas where water is scarce."

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