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January 14, 2005

Stupid soldier tricks department.

This fits the pugnacious stupidity category Dusty instituted. Larry out in Junction City, Kansas (one block over neighbor around here), home of the soldiers of the Big Red One at Fort Riley sends along this little gem of an article from the Daily Union.

MILFORD — A Geary County Sheriff's Department deputy found two more military-style weapons Tuesday in the Milford Lake area, Geary County Sheriff Jim Jensen said today.

Jensen described the weapons as two smoke-grenade launchers, which were found at the entrance of West Rolling Hills by Milford Lake.

"They did not appear to be operational," Jensen said. "They were not in very good condition."

Jensen said the launchers were not loaded. He said the launchers were usually used on military vehicles to conceal soldiers' position.

"One of my deputies found them while on patrol," Jensen said. "They were off to the side of the road."

He pointed out the launchers were not hidden and were quite noticeable from inside a vehicle.

Jensen called Fort Riley's Criminal Investigation Division and handed over the launchers to CID. Jensen said he did not know how long the launchers were at the entrance of West Rolling Hills.

"I have no idea how long they were out there," Jensen said. "They could have been there the night before. They could have been there a few days. We don't know, and I'm not going to try to guess that."

Five Fort Riley machine guns -- an M-240, a 5.56-mm and three Browning .50-caliber guns -- were found Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 near Madison Creek Bridge, three of them by area residents.

Here's the kicker.

CID reported last week that the machine guns were not serviceable and were not illegally missing from any of the post's units. Jensen said CID has not told him why military weapons are turning up near Milford Lake.

"They are not telling me what is going on. However, they do respond when we call them, so I am pleased with that," Jensen said. "I am pleased that they respond because I don't need that kind of stuff. I don't need those things in my evidence (locker). It is their property, and they need to come and take care of it."

So - what do I think is going on? The firearms and smoke launchers were declared unserviceable/combat losses in Iraq, dropped from accountability, but no one ever turned them in for disposal - or someone diverted them, hoping to do something with them later. They could also be combat drops/stolen from other units not at Fort Riley picked up in Iraq and brought home.

When the unit(s) got back, personnel found them, said "oh sh*t!" and dumped 'em. Alternatively, someone was trying to take 'em off as trophies or more nefarious reasons, chickened out, and dumped 'em.

CID ain't talking about it because they are tracing the numbers to the units, and someone is following the paper trail. And lots of interviews are going on in any Fort Riley units that could have 'touched' those weapons.

Dumb dumb dumb. I can actually see a semi-honest mistake in failing to turn in disabled weapons - armorers want to hold on to them for parts, you have them for a while, you forget about it, pack 'em up, ship 'em home, do that inventory and ...oh sh*t!

I collected a few trophies in my time - but modern weapons like that can no longer be picked up and 'amnestied' onto the books, as DEWATS (DEactivated WAr Trophies) much less live. And there are no legal dummies out there you could claim ignorance with. There's nothing there but 10 years in a Federal Institution of Adult Supervision. That's it. Not worth it from a memorabilia perspective, and you aren't going to get enough money from it except from a crook who's dumber'n you. The Daily Union is a subscription site - the whole article is in the Flash Traffic.

Sheriff’s Department Finds Smoke Grenade Launchers

From the Daily Union, January 12, 2005

By Saju Ng'alla

The Daily Union

MILFORD — A Geary County Sheriff's Department deputy found two more military-style weapons Tuesday in the Milford Lake area, Geary County Sheriff Jim Jensen said today.

Jensen described the weapons as two smoke-grenade launchers, which were found at the entrance of West Rolling Hills by Milford Lake.

"They did not appear to be operational," Jensen said. "They were not in very good condition."

Jensen said the launchers were not loaded. He said the launchers were usually used on military vehicles to conceal soldiers' position.

"One of my deputies found them while on patrol," Jensen said. "They were off to the side of the road."

He pointed out the launchers were not hidden and were quite noticeable from inside a vehicle.

Jensen called Fort Riley's Criminal Investigation Division and handed over the launchers to CID. Jensen said he did not know how long the launchers were at the entrance of West Rolling Hills.

"I have no idea how long they were out there," Jensen said. "They could have been there the night before. They could have been there a few days. We don't know, and I'm not going to try to guess that."

Five Fort Riley machine guns -- an M-240, a 5.56-mm and three Browning .50-caliber guns -- were found Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 near Madison Creek Bridge, three of them by area residents.

CID reported last week that the machine guns were not serviceable and were not illegally missing from any of the post's units. Jensen said CID has not told him why military weapons are turning up near Milford Lake.

"They are not telling me what is going on. However, they do respond when we call them, so I am pleased with that," Jensen said. "I am pleased that they respond because I don't need that kind of stuff. I don't need those things in my evidence (locker). It is their property, and they need to come and take care of it."

Jensen said if area residents come across anything that look like military weapons, they should call the Geary County Sheriff's Department immediately. He said residents should not attempt to handle the weapons.

"These weapons may appear unserviceable, but if a proper gunsmith gets a hold of them -- or if somebody else wants to -- they could probably put them back to working condition," Jensen said.

Jensen said the last thing he wants is high caliber military weapons in the hands of a civilian who does not know what he is dealing with.

"I'm concerned that these (weapons) are starting to appear," Jensen said. "It appears that there is something in their system that needs to be looked into, and that is what I have been saying all along.

"Why are they appearing out here? Why aren't they being destroyed?"

Jensen said that all his department can do is assist CID when needed.

"Their investigation is not complete," Jensen said. "And I don't release information until my investigation is complete.

"Bottom line: It is their call, and they have that right. I'm not going to second guess the military."