A Texas man is now in a pickle as he was found guilty of operating illegal gambling establishments in the state and he will have a sentencing hearing for conspiring to steal as much as $2.1 million in sensitive military equipment from the US Army, and then resell it.
Illegal Gambling Leads to Stolen Military Equipment Bust
Nathan Nichols, 46, has been running in all sorts of bad circles, with the man running illegal gambling machines out of Corpus Christi. Between 2018 and 2019, Nichols managed to maintain and successfully stay under the radar with several sweepstakes machines at a couple of venues.
However, Texas does not allow gambling on slot machines or table games, which put Nichols on the wrong side of the law. He did think of that, though, and allowed customers to use software to access the games, rather than running all-out casino-style gaming.
But the illegal gambling operations Nichols ran were a pretext for the far graver consequences he is now facing in relation to stolen military equipment. His home was visited by federal investigators in July last year and it was then that the allegedly stolen equipment was found.
Nichols had military equipment worth $2.1 million in the form of thermal scopes, night vision goggles, laser-aiming devices, range finders, and more. Investigators believe that the equipment was stolen from a US Army property at Ft. Hood in June 2021.
Military Equipment Conspiracy Sentence Yet to Be Read Out
Nichols did not commit the theft himself. Rather, he got in touch with an individual who did and agreed to purchase it and resell it on eBay. The suspect has shown compliance with authorities and has pleaded guilty to running the business. His guilt in the case involving the theft and conspiracy to steal military equipment is yet to be determined and sentencing has been scheduled for June 21.