U.S. Attorney: Fort Campbell soldiers sold stolen Army gear to buyers overseas
U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee David Rivera formally announces charges against six Ft. Campbell soldiers and two others on charges they conspired to steal and sell Army equipment on eBay at the federal courthouse in Nashville. Kyleah Starling / The Tennessean
Six soldiers and two civilians were indicted this week on charges they conspired to steal and sell Army equipment, from printer ink to machine gun parts and the sight for a grenade launcher, on eBay.
Soldiers Michael Barlow, 29; Jonathan Wolford, 28; Kyle Heade, 29; Alexander Hollibaugh, 25; Dustin Nelson, 22; and Aaron Warner, 24, all stationed at Fort Campbell, were named in the indictment unsealed Thursday. Also charged were civilians John Roberts, 26, and Cory Wilson, 42, both of Clarksville.
U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee David Rivera announced the charges Thursday during a news conference at the federal courthouse in downtown Nashville.
According to the indictment, the eight men “sold certain U.S. Army equipment that is never offered for sale by the U.S. Department of Defense as surplus” starting in 2013.
The men sold “firearm components, advanced communications headsets and laser or optical sights,” the indictment reads. The equipment was classified by the Defense Department as “DEMIL D,” meaning that it must be destroyed by the military and cannot be sold elsewhere.
The indictment lists the following equipment stolen and sold between 2013 and 2016:
- A sight for an M203 grenade launcher.
- Machine gun parts including magazine adapters, heat shields, and barrel assemblies with at least 30 barrels.
- Body armor.
- Sniper telescope with tripod and rifle mounts.
- Combat and flight helmets.
“These are extraordinarily and inherently dangerous in the wrong hands and outside of the military or police tactical use,” Rivera said Thursday.
Rivera then pointed to a photo of a trigger mechanism that is capable of converting a single-shot weapon into a fully automatic weapon and body armor plates that would stop most police and rifle rounds up to a 7.62 mm caliber round.
“You can imagine what damage can be done when a single trigger pull can discharge multiple rounds,” he said.
The value of the equipment stolen and sold totaled more than $1 million, according to the indictment. The equipment was stored in warehouses and storage units around Clarksville, and it was listed for sale online by Wilson and Roberts, the indictment says.