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Former Army Solider Sentenced for Bibery

TUCSON, Ariz. (LAWFUEL) – Former U.S. Army Private First Class Christina M. Swenson, 40, of Tucson, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Frank R. Zapata to four years supervised probation and ordered her to forfeit $3,500 in illegal proceeds. Swenson pleaded guilty on January 30, 2009, to Bribery of a Public Official. As part of her plea agreement, Swenson submitted to being discharged from the U.S. Army. On March 29, 2009, she was demoted to Private and discharged under other than honorable conditions.

Swenson was assigned to the USO Lounge at Tucson International Airport (TIA) to assist arriving U.S. Army soldiers obtain transportation to Fort Huachuca, Ariz. Between November 19, 2008 and January 8, 2009, Swenson, while acting in her official capacity as a U.S. Army soldier, accepted five bribes totaling $4,500 to secure her agreement to comply with a transportation contract between the U.S. Army and a shuttle service at TIA. A certain shuttle company had a contract with the Army for right of first refusal on all soldier transport between Fort Huachuca and TIA. The owner of this company reported that he was not receiving right of first refusal and that Swenson had previously approached him for financial assistance.

The shuttle company owner agreed to record his conversations with Swenson and on November 19, December 3, December 17, December 24, 2008, and January 8, 2009, met with Swenson at her residence in Tucson, Ariz., and gave her $700, $1,000, $800, $1000 and $1000, respectively, in bribe money that had been supplied to him by investigators. During the bribe payments, they were recorded discussing that the money was in exchange for Swenson giving him “all the soldiers” to transport. The contract shuttle’s military business increased after each bribe payment. Swenson was arrested immediately after the last payment and agents recovered the last $1,000 bribe payment from her.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division. The prosecution is being handled by Mary Sue Feldmeier, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson.

CASE NUMBER: CR-09-117-TUC-FRZ

RELEASE NUMBER: 2009-123(Swenson)

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