Tactical

Army MP arrested in alleged military equipment theft and sale scheme

Officials arrested a New York Army National Guard military police officer, a supply specialist, and a civilian employee with the Air National Guard for allegedly helping steal tens of thousands of dollars worth of “military-grade equipment” from New York military units that was later sold to the general public, New York State Police announced Monday.

Gordon Reynolds, a military police officer assigned to the 272nd Military Police Detachment in Auburn, New York, was accused of participating in a scheme to pilfer and then profit off the gear, the state police said in a news release.

Joriann Garcia-Hernandez, a unit supply specialist assigned to Company D, 152nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, and James Waleski, a civilian employed at the 174th Air National Guard Attack Wing, were also arrested for their alleged connection with the plot, the release said.

New York State Police said they recovered thousands of dollars of equipment from Texas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida and New York. An image shared in the statement depicts radios and other equipment retrieved by law enforcement, along with two rifles. According to Jeff Keller, a spokesman for the New York State Police, there was no evidence that the weapons in the image were stolen or intended for sale, but were recovered in the course of the investigation.

“In one instance [i]nvestigators recovered a ballistic vest that was being reshipped to Russia,” the statement noted.

It’s not the first time soldiers, or others in the military community, have been accused of illegally taking military equipment for their own financial gain. Earlier this summer, a scrapyard near Fort Drum, New York, settled for unlawfully selling brass casings that two soldiers and an Army civilian employee improperly sold it.

State police were contacted in June by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division. An investigation revealed the crew allegedly stole the military equipment, including some that were sensitive in nature, and then Waleski allegedly sold the items in person and online, including on Facebook Marketplace, the statement said.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to note that the firearms recovered during the investigation did not appear to be stolen or intended for sale.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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