The loyalties of two US Army explosive ordnance disposal experts are officially in question after they were caught trying to sell firearms, explosives and military equipment to individuals they believed to be affiliated with Mexican drug cartels.
Army veteran Tyler Sumlin and Sergeant First Class Jason Jarvis were indicted after attempting to sell the weapons package to undercover Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents, an incident that the Army understandably wanted to keep under wraps.
According to Newsweek, the US Army commands at Fort Bragg attempted to keep the story out of the news, but were foiled when two former EOD technicians, who spoke under condition of anonymity, stepped forward with a charge sheet that had been in the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) and was at one time posted to a secret Facebook chat room for EOD personnel.
Proving that no secret group can actually keep a secret, the news spread like wildfire, despite the deletion of the original post.
While the post was still active in the secret group, Sumlin participated in the conversation, noting that there were around six individuals involved in the matter.
“As far as I know they are in the clear as long as they don’t say anything,” Sumlin wrote, admitting his involvement. “And even if there was a docket, I wouldn’t ever think of telling anyone the [case] number so it could be posted. I don’t care about mine. I f***ed up huge. No changing that. I’m gonna do some time and hopefully move on with my life. I figured this shit had been posted months ago.”
While Sumlin claimed he was protecting the other individuals and sacrificing himself in order to prevent other individuals from making the same mistake, his fellow explosive experts weren’t so convinced. In fact, they were hostile towards him.
“F*** you AND your service,” one user replied. “You’re a piece of sh*t. You betrayed everyone you ever worked with as soon as you tried to sell weapons and explosives to a cartel.”
As the story goes, Jarvis -who is active duty with the 52nd Ordnance Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina- allegedly rented an SUV and drove to Florida, where he met with Sumlin. Meeting at an Airbnb, the two sanitized and consolidated their respective weapons caches, packing them into containers for the trip to El Paso.
On November 14, 2018, the duo met with what they believed were cartel members, but soon discovered they were undercover federal agents and took them into custody.
The cache allegedly included several M4 carbines, M107 anti-materiel rifles, a Browning M2 machine gun, night vision optics, a hand grenade, suppressors, 5 pounds of C-4, and other items.
Had the exchange gone as planned, Sumlin would have made $12,000, while Jarvis would have profited a measly $2,000. Meanwhile, one of the greatest threats to the safety of the American citizenry would be armed to the teeth, courtesy of the US taxpayer and a few rogue military personnel.
“The fact that former and active members of the U.S. military were prepared and attempted to smuggle out of the country this considerable array of equipment and firepower is distressing, in and of itself,” said Brad Moss, a DC-based attorney specializing in matters of national security. “What is immensely concerning, however, is that they were apparently able to get this equipment out of a U.S. Government facility without anyone originally noticing.”
The case has been continued until April.
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