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Long IslandCrime

Feds: Navy worker at Mitchel Field admits taking bribes

A U.S. Department of the Navy employee from

A U.S. Department of the Navy employee from Uniondale pleaded guilty Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2017, to a bribery charge related to a kickback scheme involving heavily discounted alcohol sales to unauthorized buyers at the Navy Exchange at Mitchel Field in Garden City. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A U.S. Department of the Navy employee admitted accepting more than $250,000 in cash bribes in a kickback scheme involving heavily discounted alcohol sales to unauthorized buyers at the Navy Exchange at Mitchel Field in Garden City, federal officials said.

Eric Jex, 29, of Uniondale, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of bribery before U.S. District Court Judge Joanna Seybert in Central Islip, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release Tuesday. Sentencing is set for Feb. 2.

The DOJ said that Jex, in his role as a supervisory sales associate at the Navy Exchange, or NEX, adjacent to Nassau Community College, took cash bribes — typically, authorities said, between $5 and $20 per case of liquor — to sell heavily discounted liquor to three unauthorized buyers between November 2015 and December 2016. One of those unauthorized buyers had a state liquor license, authorities said.

By accepting the bribes, the DOJ said, Jex allowed those buyers access to “repeated large purchases” at “the NEX’s low prices” — adding that, as part of those deals, Jex also “provided additional price-matching discounts” to the unauthorized buyers.

In his supervisory role at the Exchange, authorities said Jex was required to sell only to authorized personnel and was required to check purchaser identifications before making any sales.

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