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Army accuses private of stealing $630K worth of weapons accessories from JBLM Stryker brigade

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on Feb. 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
February 16, 2012 3:26 pm

The Army today announced that it charged a 22-year-old private with the theft of more than $600,000 worth of equipment from his Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade.

The Army would not say whether it believes Pvt. Nicholas Solt of Slatington, Pa., acted alone in an alleged scheme to steal and resell weapons accessories from his unit. Solt is under confinement at Lewis-McChord. The Army did not say when it arrested him.

“Our investigation remains ongoing,” Army Criminal Investigative Division spokesman Christopher Grey said.

Solt, 22, faces 59 years in prison if he’s convicted on six criminal charges including larceny of military property, entering a government building with the intent to commit a crime, attempting to sell optical and targeting equipment, threatening to kill another person, possessing narcotics and possessing steroids.

Army leaders at Lewis-McChord said they were able to make headway in recovering much of the lost gear because of a six-day “lockdown” Solt’s commanders instituted in January when they learned of the theft. About 100 soldiers in the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division were restricted to staying in or near their unit headquarters during that time.

“CID agents were able to move quickly because of the administrative actions taken and the I Corps Command appreciates their hard work, dedication, and terrific police work” said I Corps Chief of Staff Col. Steven Bullimore.

Solt joined the Army in June 2008 and arrived at Lewis-McChord that October. He deployed to Iraq with the 4th Brigade from September 2009 to September 2010.

The Army says it recovered 98 percent of the gear Solt allegedly stole by collaborating with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The gear included rifle scopes, laser sights and night vision goggles.

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