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Posted: 9/18/2004 8:08:51 AM EDT
Makes me wonder how much smuggled stuff hasn't been reported or discovered. I'm also curious why there's no mention of the ATF being involved.

" KANSAS CITY (AP) - A U.S. Army captain facing a court-martial, accused of smuggling fully automatic weapons home while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, will be discharged Tuesday, a military prosecutor said.

Capt. Clinton Sperry came under investigation in March after an anonymous tip that he mailed two AK-47 assault rifles, an MP5 submachine gun and a 9 mm pistol from the war zone in Iraq to his home in Oak Grove, said Maj. Everett Yates, the chief prosecutor handling the case at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Military prosecutors don’t intend to continue the case. But Brian Compton, who heads the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s Kansas City office, said the agency is exploring referring the case to a federal or state prosecutor.

"If someone brings guns in from out of the country, you could have customs violations, and if the weapons are illegal, there could be weapons violations," Compton said.

Sperry was an Army reservist with the 418th Civil Affairs Battalion in Belton. Civil affairs soldiers work with citizens in combat areas to ease the impact of fighting and to help restore order. About 90 members of the 418th returned to the Kansas City area from Iraq in March.

Yates said his office already had started the process to court-martial Sperry when he requested a discharge, which was granted by an Army review board and is effective Tuesday.

Soldiers who request discharges after criminal military investigations usually are given an "other than honorable discharge," Yates said.

Military investigators said they recovered four weapons from Sperry’s home that allegedly were mailed from Iraq to suburban Kansas City.

As recently as February, the U.S. Central Command issued orders advising commanders and soldiers not to bring "war souvenirs" or "war trophies" home from Iraq.

Military officials said that since the Vietnam War, similar orders have prohibited soldiers from "taking enemy material as a souvenirs" or any weaponry. "
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 8:15:10 AM EDT
Serves him right for being so stupid as to send them to his home address…… use a Box Number!

How much comes back… well in the British Sector… Basra, you can openly buy AK47's and Makarovs in the markets… so many are rumored to have come back the Customs people have started x-raying all packages coming into the country.

Link Posted: 9/18/2004 8:48:21 AM EDT
doesn't a big box spark some interest??

Whats a matter with the US you got reserve troops in Iraq busting their balls for 1.5 years and you don't let them bring back a fucking AK47.

Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:34:09 AM EDT
Military officials said that since the Vietnam War, similar orders have prohibited soldiers from "taking enemy material as a souvenirs" or any weaponry.


Kerry in Outdoor Life

"My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam. I don't own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle."

hmmmmm, I wonder
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:39:15 AM EDT
What a dumbass.

Damn thief.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:42:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/18/2004 9:43:33 AM EDT by Lightning_P38]
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:53:07 AM EDT
+1 on dumb law/rule. We expect them to shoot rifles and die for their country, but they can't bring an enemy rifle home with them? WTF?

Maybe they caught this guy, but I wonder how many ex--iraqi weapons made it through?

I remember a good suggestion a while ago: allow active military to buy their service weapons from the military when they retire. That way, we get lots more service rifles in the hands of well-trained Americans, and the military gets to buy new weapons to issue to new troops, instead of issuing the same worn-out weapons for 20 years or more. To go along with this, reserves would be required to keep their issue weapons at home with ammo (kinda like the Swiss and Israelis), and would be expected to maintain proficiency with them on their own time. Plus, if you go to war, you can take home as much enemy gear as you can carry. At least, that's one corner of my ideal world.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 9:58:50 AM EDT
Troops should be allowed to bring home war trophies. This is asinine.

But, rules are rules and you can't make exceptions for anyone.

I hope that "anonymous tipster" (*cough* dirty snitch *cough-cough*) is happy.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 10:07:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
I am sure by now the number of guns that have gotten back without discovery is in the thousands.

One can only hope.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 10:08:44 AM EDT
Most people in Afghanistan/ Iraq mail foot lockers home full of stuff. Its easy to mail the stuff out of country (mail clerks dont check that hard), the only problem would be getting caught during shipment.

Agreed this guy was stupid!! you send one box home and dont get caught fine, but never take a second chance at someting that will cost your career.

Link Posted: 9/18/2004 10:08:53 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 10:10:51 AM EDT
You have to do it in pieces....................where are the old school folks to teach these guys
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 10:12:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
As stupid as the regs against bringing home war trophies are, they are the regs, and a Captain know better. This is one transgresion that is uniformly enforced.

Editd to add: I am sure by now the number of guns that have gotten back without discovery is in the thousands.

I don't doubt it; look at all the places you could hide weapons in most military vehicles and support equipment. After the first Gulf War, somebody got busted for trying to smuggle AK's in a fuel tank. Unfortunately, it was Mogas, not JP-8, so the Ak's were easy to spot.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 11:49:00 AM EDT
My grandfather told me a story about sending weapons back during WWII :

A friend of his sent several MG's, pistols, etc home from Europe. But, he sent them in pieces addressed to his wife. She wasn't sure what they were for, so she had them put back together by a local gunsmith.
Then she sent them back to himHe
My grandfather - Arthur G. Brown :1912-1994
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 11:52:42 AM EDT
I think it's a disservice to our troops to not allow them to take home wartrophies. It's just wrong, IMO.

Honestly, I feel sorry for this Captain. I wish he would have gotten away with it. God knows him and hundreds of other Americans DESERVE to take something home with them. I think if you bust your ass and put your life on the line, you should get compensated - not fucked over.
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