|Black market arms sales are huge|
|Written by Mark Nichols|
According to a recent article in the Stars and Stripes, an 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.
According to reports the probe began more than a year and a half ago when agents with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service initiated undercover operations to disrupt and reduce the theft, transfer, sale and possession of stolen U.S. Government property.
Along with Marine and Naval authorities, NCIS has recovered $1.8 million in stolen guns and combat gear. The list includes assault rifles, night-vision goggles, flashlights and other items, military officials said.
“We’re talking about sophisticated, hi-tech flashlights that cost the government up to $800 per unit. The temptation and ease with which to steal and sell them, for some, is irresistible,” an unnamed official working on the probe said.
The ever-widening probe now includes the FBI; Homeland Security; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Defense Logistics Agency; Defense Criminal Investigative Service, N.C.
State Bureau of Investigations, and several local agencies including the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office and the Jacksonville Police Department.
So far, just a few of those arrested in the sweeping operation have already been court martialed or dishonorably discharged.