Officials: Nearly $2 million in guns, combat gear sold to gangs
By LINDELL KAY AND MIKE MCHUGH
May 15, 2012
A wide-reaching investigation by military and civilian authorities has uncovered a criminal conspiracy within the Armed Forces to steal and sell nearly $2 million in guns and combat gear to gangs in the U.S. and foreign countries including China, military officials have confirmed.
The probe began more than a year and a half ago when agents with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service began to conduct undercover operations to disrupt and reduce the theft, transfer, sale and possession of stolen U.S. Government property. With the aid of Marine and Naval authorities, NCIS has recovered $1.8 million in stolen guns and combat gear to include assault rifles, night-vision goggles, flashlights and other items, military officials said.
Those involved are accused of stealing, over-ordering or otherwise obtaining equipment and selling guns locally and other gear over the Internet to people in foreign countries including China and Russia, officials said.