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Feds Order Ariz. Sheriff To Retrieve Military Items

September 15, 2012  | 

Photo courtesy of the Department of Defense.
Photo courtesy of the Department of Defense.

A Pentagon agency that oversees surplus military goods has ordered the Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff's Office to retrieve hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise it had requisitioned and then "loaned" to non-police organizations in violation of the program's rules.

The Defense Logistics Agency decision came just days after the Arizona Republic reported that Sheriff Paul Babeu was distributing Humvees, firetrucks, medical equipment and other supplies to Pinal County agencies, according to correspondence obtained by the newspaper under public-records law.

E-mails and letters from the Sheriff's Office also show that four days after the Republic's special report in May, the Pentagon agency threatened to block all 102 Arizona law-enforcement organizations from the military-surplus program, citing statewide issues with inventory control.

Read the full Arizona Republic story.


Military Surplus Gear: Abuse It and Lose It

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Requisitioner @ 9/17/2012 8:46 PM

Pinal County abused the heck out of this program.

There are separate programs that allow Fire/Rescue agencies to get access to this equipment. It is clear that the Sheriff made illegal transfers for his political benefit, handing out surplus equipment to curry favor and votes with his patrons.

What is worse is that fact that they obtained gear with the express intent of selling it. That is a clear violation of the terms of the program and a violation of federal law. They have no excuse; every year, everyone involved in the program signs new MOAs very clearly explaining the rules.

What is worse is that they had a unique set-up in Arizona where Pinal County approved their own (and other agencies) requests. That put them at the head of line for equipment and Pinal routinely beat out the other 17,000 agencies in the program for the "cool" gear. They essentially cheated other LE agencies out of gear that Pinal County had no intention of using and were planning on selling to cover their budget deficit. They also caused enough negative attention on the program that they jeopardized it for all of the rest of legitimate users. This is a great program that provides all kinds of good gear for LE, and Pinal had to be “that guy” and screw it up for everyone.

I personally won't be happy until the Pinal Sheriff and his employees responsible are in Federal prison and all of their gear is returned to DLA.

Random @ 9/18/2012 3:57 AM

If only there was a like button.

Trigger @ 9/18/2012 6:33 AM

We just had to go through training for the new LESO program. Hopefully the online inventory will assist in keeping agencies honest. $7 million dollars in stuff is mild blowing. I thought we did well with a half dozen rifles!!

Tschako @ 9/18/2012 8:10 AM

Pinal SO is truly an embarrassment to all other LEO's. It seems there's enough here for a criminal complaint. It's jepordising the program that really burns.

[email protected] @ 9/18/2012 11:14 AM

tschako & requisitioner: Bullshit. Are any of you "believe everything you read" clowns even remotely familiar with the Pinal County Sheriffs Department? Of the area they cover and the terrain they encounter? Probably not. If you read the Az.Republic then you should know the left-wing slant that is their idea of reporting. Just to be clear: I do not reside in Pinal county or am I related to or have even met Sheriff Babeu. What is the real reason for the big fuss? How much has our gov't given to mexico without any requirements? Not only equipment but weapons that have disappeared. Until you've been there you shouldn't criticize any department. Blues, stay safe!!

Wolf @ 9/18/2012 2:02 PM

Just the Feds enforcing regs to punish Arizona law enforcement because of theses agencies are desiring to enforce immigration laws.

Requisitioner @ 9/18/2012 8:32 PM

I am not talking left wing, right wing or any other kind of slant, and I have been following this story closely because I handle this program for my agency.

Getting gear with the intent to sell it is a criminal violation.

Getting gear and transferring it, particularly DEMIL-required items, to non-LE agencies is criminal.

Everyone involved in the program knows this from day one. If you are confused, a quick call or e-mail to DLA in battle creek will clear it up.

This has nothing to do with the border, or any political agenda, except for the one that screws up free military gear for the rest of us.

I recognized equipment from some of the earlier news articles about this. Pinal County beat agencies that NEEDED stuff for the gear because of their little hack of the system so they could turn around and sell it. That is federal prison time, and it means my people and other agencies in our area didn’t get life-saving equipment.

This has nothing to do with how big they are or their proximity to the border. It has to do with them breaking federal law and screwing other agencies over. They can all burn, and I’ll supply the matches and gasoline.

[email protected] @ 9/19/2012 3:08 PM

requisitioner: You may want to reread the Republic article and the "corrections" it buried in later issues. Also, have you checked with the DLA as to changes made? Or better yet, contact the Pinal County Sheriffs Office and get some verification as to what occured. Blues, stay safe.

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