Report: JBLM soldiers stole rocket launcher

Credit: Staff Sgt. David Bruce / DVIDS

A Marine fires an M72A2 Light Anti-tank Weapon simulator.

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by CHRIS INGALLS / KING 5 News

kgw.com

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 8:16 AM

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Five Army soldiers are under investigation for smuggling a rocket launcher off base at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, law enforcement sources tell KING 5 News.

Sources said the M72 light anti-tank weapon (LAW) was armed with a live rocket. The weapon is capable of firing a rocket that can penetrate armor nearly one-foot thick.

Sources told KING 5 News at least one soldier smuggled the M72 LAW away from Joint Base Lewis-McChord and it was then passed around the other soldiers.

The soldiers' secret reportedly became revealed when one of the troops was deployed to Afghanistan last year. His girlfriend called police when she found the rocket launcher in their closet.

Investigators said they don’t believe the soldiers planned to use the rocket to harm anyone. However, they do expect charges to be filed in U.S. District Court for possession of a military-grade weapon.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) are said to be heading the investigation, which began in September of last year.

An Army spokesperson at JBLM said he’s unaware of the investigation.

 

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