Note: while not directly tied to the border situation, it is a good
example of not only the Mex. govt unable to keep their weapons and
associated hardware. Has any or how much has made it south from
this group? And other groups?
3 soldiers accused in theft of rifle scopes
By Adriana M. Chávez \ EL PASO TIMES
Posted: 09/14/2011 12:00:00 AM MDT
Three Fort Bliss soldiers are accused of stealing rifle scopes and
other supplies from the Army post and selling them to a man who later
resold some of the property in Connecticut.
According to a federal court indictment, Army Sgts. Oldair Silva and
Jasmine Barrett, along with Connecticut resident Dennis John Wilson,
are each charged with conspiracy, theft of government property and
transporting stolen property in interstate commerce. Sgt. James
Barrett is charged with one count of receipt of stolen government
FBI agents arrested Jasmine and James Barrett on Friday. Silva was
arrested in July and is scheduled to plead guilty later this month
before U.S. District Judge Phil Martinez. It is unclear whether
Wilson has been arrested.
According to a criminal complaint filed against Silva, FBI agents in
June received a tip that Silva, assigned to the Special Troops
Battalion of the 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division, stole an unknown
number of weapon scopes and sold them.
About a week later, Army officials in Connecticut received a tip from
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that a
business in New Haven, Conn., had bought 60 rifle scopes from Wilson.
A preliminary investigation by Fort Bliss officials determined the
scopes belonged to the 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division.
Investigators later learned that Wilson sold several scopes, helmet
lights and vertical foregrips to a Connecticut business for $42,000
after Silva allegedly shipped
the items to Wilson, his brother-in-law. Wilson later flew to El Paso
with the proceeds of the sale and split the money with Silva.
The indictment alleges that between May 1, 2009, and May 31, 2010,
while the 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division, was stationed in Iraq,
Jasmine Barrett failed to notify her chain of command that the rifle
scopes had not been properly entered into the unit property books and
"intentionally failed to correct the error herself," even though she
was the unit's supply sergeant.
At the time, Silva was the company's armorer and had full access to
"the sensitive military items stored in the arms room."
Prosecutors allege Jasmine Barrett hid the scopes before returning to
the U.S., and later told Silva she had "successfully brought the
scopes to Fort Bliss unnoticed."
Silva is also accused of stealing 24 emergency air tanks from a cargo
container at Fort Bliss and shipping them to Wilson, who in turn sold
them for $800 and the promise of more money after the tanks were sold
James Barrett is accused of taking two rifle scopes valued at more
than $1,000 between March and May 12 this year.
Court hearings for James and Jasmine Barrett had yet to be scheduled
Tuesday. Silva's next court hearing has been scheduled for Friday.
Adriana M. Chávez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 546-6117.