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Marine Admits He Took Bribes

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A Marine sergeant pleaded guilty Thursday to taking $150,000 in bribes from military contractors while stationed at Camp Fallujah, Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Gilbert Mendez pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States by taking the bribes from companies that got millions of dollars in military contracts, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Mendez was the contracting officer at Camp Fallujah from January 2006 to January 2007. He admitted taking brines from three foreign-owned companies, prosecutors said. He took the money either directly or from a friend, Francisco Mungia, who has pleaded guilty to similar federal charges in Hawaii.

Mendez, 36, faces up to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud at his March 1, 2013 sentencing.

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