An ex-soldier who already has been sentenced in federal court for stealing expensive, high-tech military gear from Fort Cavazos pleaded guilty this week in a Bell County courtroom to two unrelated felony offenses.
Jessica Elaintrell Smith, 30, was being held in the Bell County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of a bond of $100,000, on a third-degree felony charge of assault of a family member by choking that occurred on March 26, 2020. No bond is listed on the state’s motion to revoke her probation for robbing a game store in Killeen in 2013, when she was an active-duty soldier.
On Tuesday in the 27th Judicial District Court, Smith pleaded guilty to both charges and she is set to be sentenced on July 12, according to the court coordinator’s office and Bell County court records.
Smith was booked into the Bell County Jail on Dec. 27, 2022.
On, Feb. 7, 2014, Smith was arrested by Killeen police for helping three armed men rob the Game Exchange on W.S. Young Drive on Aug. 2, 2013.
She told police she agreed to participate in the armed robbery by texting the men regarding who was working in the store and that she was rewarded with iPods, iPads, phones and headphones.
On June 10, 2014, after pleading guilty to a first-degree felony charge of aggravated robbery, Smith was sentenced to a term of 10 years of deferred adjudication probation, according to Bell County court records.
The Bell County District Attorney’s Office on July 2, 2020, filed a motion to adjudicate that probation after Smith was arrested again in Killeen on March 26, 2020. A woman reported to police that Smith had choked her during a domestic incident. Smith was indicted on July 15, 2020.
FORT CAVAZOS THEFT
The names of Smith, Brandon Dominic Brown and Nathan Nichols became the subject of media reports last year after they were charged in federal court with stealing thermal scopes, night vision goggles and other equipment from then-Fort Hood.
The Army’s investigation began after it was discovered on June 17, 2021, that the locks had been cut on 17 Conex shipping containers on post. An audit showed that 137 items were missing: 72 scopes, 60 radios, three night-vision devices and two receiver/transmitters.
They were caught after the gear, which the Army determined to be worth more than $2 million, turned up for sale on eBay.
After pleading guilty on April 5, 2022, to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., Smith was sentenced on Aug. 2, 2022, to 18 months in federal prison. She and the two co-defendants were ordered to pay the U.S. Army nearly $1.3 million as restitution.
Brown pleaded guilty on Sept. 14, 2022, and on Jan. 18, he was sentenced to three years of probation and six months of home detention.
Nichols, the Corpus Christi man who put the gear up for sale online, was sentenced on March 7, to 24 months in federal prison followed by two years of probation.