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Former Navy sailor pleads guilty to illegally exporting sensitive defense items

Military property stolen from a Navy armory sold on eBay

SAN DIEGO - A former gunner's mate, who worked at a local Navy armory, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of illegally exporting defense items without the proper license. This guilty plea follows a yearlong criminal investigation by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Phillip Andro Jamison, 31, of San Diego, entered his guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jan Adler. His plea is now subject to final acceptance by the federal court judge, or at the sentencing scheduled for Aug. 1. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

In September 2009, ICE HSI agents in San Diego received a lead from the ICE HSI Atlanta office and opened an investigation into suspected export violations involving stolen sensitive military items. The agents then executed a criminal search warrant and seized documentary evidence at the San Diego residence of an enlisted navy gunner's mate.

According to the court documents, at the time of the investigation Jamison was assigned to work at an armory at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, in Coronado, Calif., where he had access to sensitive military equipment.

Jamison surrendered to federal agents following his September 2010 indictment on multiple counts of trafficking stolen goods and illegal exportation.

In his guilty plea, the former enlisted man admitted he stole items from the U.S. Navy between October 2008 and September 2009, and sold them on eBay. The stolen items included tactical flashlights, rifle scopes, laser-aiming and night-vision devices, holographic weapon sights, and a rangefinder. He also admitted to illegally exporting some of this technology to Hong Kong without obtaining the required export licenses from the Department of State.

As part of his plea, Jamison agreed to reimburse the U.S. Navy more than $170,000 for the stolen items.