Forty-seven U.S. service members and 21 civilians have been charged in connection to the sale of military equipment stolen from Camp Lejeune and other military installations, the result of a two-year investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, The Jacksonville Daily News reports.
Camp Lejeune Marines sold more than $2 million worth of equipment online, through websites like eBay and Craiglist, the Daily News reports. Sales were also made at yard sales and face-to-face deals. One official told the paper that NCIS agents “found that some military members were selling guns, or attempting to sell guns, to street gangs in North Carolina and elsewhere.” An undercover NCIS operation has recovered $1.8 million in stolen weapons and equipment, including assault rifles, night-vision goggles and $800 flashlights.
According to Daily News, the investigation is now also taking a look at Army and Navy personnel.
“The case is still active and ongoing in partnership with several other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies,” Ed Buice, public affairs officer for NCIS, told the paper. “I can’t go into much detail.”
About half of the people charged have already appeared at trial and many have plead guilty, Buice said.
NCIS did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com