Former Army specialist sentenced for stealing handguns at Fort Bliss

By ROSE L. THAYER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 23, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas – A former Fort Bliss soldier was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for theft and possession of stolen firearms at the west Texas Army base, federal officials announced Thursday.

Christopher Darnell Harris, a 25-year-old former Army truck driver from Nacogdoches, Texas, pleaded guilty on April 23 to two counts of possession of stolen firearms, one count of theft at Fort Bliss, unlawful carrying of firearms on the base, and simple possession of marijuana while at Fort Bliss, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas.

In addition to the time that Harris must spend in prison, he also received three years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge David Guaderrama handed down the sentence in an El Paso courtroom.

By pleading guilty, Harris admitted he entered two Fort Bliss fitness centers from April 2017 and June 2017 and stole wallets, keys and other items from inside the lockers of at least 10 known servicemembers, according to the statement. Harris used the stolen keys to break into vehicles and steal two handguns.

Agents with the Defense Department Criminal Investigation Command investigated this case along with Fort Bliss military police.

Harris was in the service from September 2013 until February 2017, according to his service record. He left the Army as a specialist and earned the Army Service Ribbon, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Drive and Mechanic Badge.

Twitter: @Rose_Lori

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