“To protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation, no further information will be released at this time,” Grey told Military Times, declining to confirm when special agents interviewed the Guard unit and whether there were any leads.
The rifle went missing after a March 11 training, Politico reported, and when unit leadership wasn’t able to locate it, CID took over, taking statements this week.
Missing equipment, particularly weapons, can bring military units to a stand-still. If it is discovered that weapons were purposely removed, not to mention intended for illegal use, troops can face serious legal consequences.
More than $1 million in weapons parts and sensitive military equipment was stolen out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and sold in a vast black market, some of it to foreign buyers through eBay, according to testimony at a federal trial this week.
In February, 10 pounds of plastic explosives went missing during a training exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, prompting the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to step in.
Last year, a Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, battalion commander and command sergeant major were fired after two of their units rifles went missing, never to be recovered.