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Mich. Man Faces 25 Years, $1.25M Fine For Exporting Firearms To South Africa

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DETROIT (WWJ) - A retired U.S. Army major from Macomb County who illegally shipped firearms overseas is facing a 25-year prison sentence on top of a $1.25 million fine.

Fifty-eight-year-old Dennis Haag, of Lenox, pleaded guilty Wednesday to receiving unlawful pay while working for the military and to unlawfully shipping firearms to South Africa without a license. Haag’s 52-year-old wife, Judi, also pleaded guilty to assisting in her husband’s receipt of unlawful pay.

During a hearing before U.S. District Judge Sean Cox, Haag admitted that in late 2011 and early 2012, he and his wife received about $40,000 to represent a South African firm named V.R. Laser that had an interest in obtaining military contracts. But U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said there was no evidence that V.R. Laser actually obtained any contract as a result of this arrangement.

At the time of the offense, Haag was employed at the Tank Automotive Command in Warren with responsibility for the Army’s Humvee vehicles. Haag was also a federally licensed firearms dealer, and admitted that on multiple occasions from 2008 to 2012, he unlawfully exported sport rifles and rifle parts to a South African acquaintance who worked with V.R. Laser.

“It is disturbing when a military employee receives money from an outside source in a foreign country and illegally ships firearms overseas without a license,” McQuade said in a statement. “These kinds of conflicts of interest and violations of law expose our military service members and even our national security to potential harm.”

Based on his guilty plea, Haag is facing a maximum of 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,250,000. He will also lose his federal firearms license and will be proposed for debarment from participating in any future contract work involving the federal government. Judi Haag faces a year in prison, a fine of $100,000 and will also be proposed for debarment. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

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