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U.S. soldier jailed after smuggling $1 million from Afghanistan to the US

By Mason White 10:43 AM March 8, 2013
Tonya Long with unidentified children 

By: Debbie Gross
A female soldier was sentenced to prison after she stole money in Afghanistan, and smuggled the cash into the United States.

Sergeant Tonya Long, 30, from Fayetteville, North Carolina, will be serving five years in prison for her role in smuggling $1 million in cash from Afghanistan to the United States.

Long had used $500,000 of the stolen money to pay, for an 18 wheel tractor trailer, plastic surgeries and a host of other things, according to press reports.

The thefts had occurred during deployment to Afghanistan.

Long striped components from some VCRs and hid the cash inside, then she sent it to the Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina, authorities said.

“Tonya Long betrayed her team while other soldiers were fighting for our country, she was stealing money that was meant to be used to support the mission,” Thomas Walker said in a press release. “Her conduct undermined her comrades and the reputation of our nation,” Walker added.

Judge Terrence Boyle sentenced Long to five years in prison and ordered her to to pay $1 million in restitution.