According to federal court records filed May 3, six servicemen possessed 14,000 rounds of stolen ammunition, principally from Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington. After at least one of the airmen reportedly made online threats calling for the violent takeover of the federal government, the ammo was discovered.
After Staff Sgt. John I. Sanger began contemplating acts of violence and pushing for the seizing of the United States; the FBI’s Seattle Division initiated an investigation into the airmen in August. Capitol.
Sanger and the other five airmen face charges of stealing government property, possessing stolen ammo, and possessing an unlicensed handgun.
Sanger and another airman included in the charge, Staff Sgt. Eric Eagleton, met with an undercover Office of Special Investigations agent who was wearing a wire in March 2022.
Eagleton informed the agent that he and other members of Fairchild’s 92nd Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance facility took ammunition from the armory on a daily basis, adding that he stole up to 3,000 rounds of ammunition every day.
According to court filings, Nathaniel Richards, another airman charged in the plan, subsequently informed the agent that members of the gang faked weapons’ credentials to reflect that the ammo was used in training when it was actually stolen for personal use.
Prosecutors claim that the 5.56mm ammunition obtained by the Air Force OSI agent during the sting was marked as expended by Fairchild employees a year previously, with some rounds finding in Richards’ Nevada home after he transferred to Creech Air Force Base.
Last month, the US Attorney Vanessa Waldref praised the combined FBI-OSI probe, noting that when people put their personal interests before of others and violate the public trust, they demean the numerous government and military employees who commit their lives to public service.
According to the indictment, certain members of the organization also had red dot optics and PEQ-15 target illuminators taken from the military.
According to court papers, it’s unclear what the gang planned to do with the ammunition, however the FBI’s affidavit indicated that three of the indictees did use some of it for target practice in rural Washington.