30 Years Sounds About Right…
…with no parole.
A couple of Lake City Ammunition Plant employees learned the hard way that it’s never a good idea to steal from the Army.
They face serious jail time accused of stealing thousands of pounds of copper parts used to make bullets.
Charles Dale Osborn from Odessa and Timothy Duane Langebin from Independence face serious federal charges. They’re accused of stealing more than 16,000 pounds of copper and selling it to a salvage company in Moberly.
Dave Fusselman said he wasn’t sure why the two men were bringing the pieces to his Moberly, Missouri salvage company every three or four weeks. He could have looked the other way, but instead he called police.
“They never suspected someone out here would take down their plate and watch them,” Fusselman said.
The US Attorney’s office said the two Lake City Army Ammunition Plant employees were stealing bullet cups used to make 7.62 millimeter rounds for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It’s not very often that someone dares to interrupt the flow of ammunition to the troops,” John Cowles, Asst. US Attorney said.
Cowles said the stolen copper would have made 1.5 million rounds of ammo, about two weeks worth of production at the plant. The suspects made more than $45,000 from selling it but now they face sabotage of war materials charges, which could mean as much as 30 years in federal prison.
“It’s very unique,” Cowles said. “I’ve never been involved with anything that had to do with such a direct impact against United States Armed Forces when they are conducting combat operations somewhere.”
“Those guys weren’t dumb so much as they came across the wrong operation,” Fusselman said.
Knowing now where the copper came from, Fusselman hopes the plant evaluates security.
“It’s amazing that many loads of copper came out and there’s no system in place to show they were coming up short,” he said.
Fusselman said he was concerned he’d have to pay back the Army for the copper but he got a letter from the US Attorney saying he could keep it. The plant felt it could be damaged and couldn’t make bullets out of it and the US Attorney said he should be rewarded for doing the right thing.
1: Kudos to the plant owner for speaking up.
2: WTF is wrong with the Lake City arsenal that they didn’t notice 16,000 lbs of missing copper jacket cups? (Rhetorical question. Yes, I know the answer – “Government.”)
3: Kudos to the Justice Dept. for not gigging the guy who fingered the thieves. Damned straight he should be rewarded.
4: I don’t know if I’m more impressed that 16,000 lbs of jacket cups are needed to make 1.5 million rounds or that it only takes the plant about two weeks to crank out that many!
Story h/t to Gandalf23.