North Dakota man sentenced for selling counterfeit U.S. military gear

October 21, 2022

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (KFGO) – A North Dakota man was sentenced to two years in federal prison Thursday for his role in a scheme to sell counterfeit clothing and gear to the U.S. military.

Forty nine year-old Terry Roe of Burlington, North Dakota was the manager at Dakota Outerwear, a Minot company that sold the gear which prosecutors said were not only counterfeit but also substandard to the point of being “a danger to men and women in uniform.”

During sentencing, U.S. Attorney Sandy Hebert said Roe knowingly abdicated his responsibility and duty to provide safe gear and breached the trust with members of the military and others by his knowing and willing participation in the fraudulent scheme, which manufactured and imported $20 million Chinese-made military uniforms and passed them off as American-made products.

The counterfeit gear included 13,000 jackets which were supposed to be resistant to enemies’ night vision goggles but were not, and over 18,000 hoods that were not flame resistant though they were held out to be.

Hebert said that Roe’s role in the scheme was particularly injurious due to his direct and personal relationships on with military personnel and on bases, his knowledge of the safety needs of the troops, and the respect Dakota Outerwear had in the community. The government asked for 37 months of incarceration for Roe in the case, less than the maximum allowable 60 months based on the level of the felony crime Roe pleaded guilty to, which was conspiracy to commit wire fraud and traffic in counterfeit goods.

Judge William Smith heard from Roe’s attorney John Calcagni, who said there was no excuse for what Roe had done but that he’d learned his lessons and was at a low point in his life, including health and family issues.

Roe addressed the court and said nothing could justify what he’d done and that he’d disgraced his name, his community, and his family. He fought back tears when discussing his young son who recently received a worrisome health diagnosis.

But Roe appeared to backtrack on his contrition and responsibility in the case when the judge asked him why he took financial kickbacks from one of the other defendants in the case, prompting Hebert to remind the court that Roe had already pled guilty to all the charges, including knowingly covering up the fraud and doubling down on the scheme as it began to unravel.

After a sidebar with Calcagni, Roe apologized to the court and said he accepted all responsibility for the crimes, at which time Smith sentenced Roe to two years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.