Former U.S. Marine Corps Reservist Indicted for Stealing, Selling Ammunition, Body Armor, and Training Rifles
MEMPHIS, TN—A 21-year-old former U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) reservist was indicted by a federal grand jury this week on theft of government property charges for stealing and selling assault-style training rifles, ammunition, and body armor. The indictment also alleges that the defendant used two government vehicles in an unauthorized manner.
According to the indictment, in January 2014, Armando Jaime Vazquez, Jr., of Memphis, removed an $89,000 Military-issued Hummer and $150,000 Tractor, Rubber Tired, Articulated Steering, Multipurpose Vehicle (also known as a “TRAM”) from the USMC Reserve Center in Memphis.
The following month, Vazquez sold more than $4,000 worth of stolen USMC equipment to an individual. The items he unlawfully sold in February include: a Marine Corps issued Improved Load Bearing Equipment (ILBE) pack; desert tan body armor; ammunition magazines for M-16 style rifles; a Quiet Pro communications headset; and a ballistic helmet with camouflage cover.
Vazquez sold additional stolen equipment to an individual in early March, which valued at over $20,000. The stolen items included: body armor; 2 Beretta M9 inert training aids; ammunition magazines for M-16 style rifles; a Bushmaster Blue Fire M4; and a Bushmaster Blue Fire M-16 A4 with an accompanying magazine.
Vazquez faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison if convicted. He also faces up to a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by Naval Criminal Investigative Services and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force. The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kasey Weiland.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.