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Two Army National Guard Members Indicted, Charged with Selling Military Equipment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2007

Springfield, Ill. – Two members of the U.S. Army National Guard were charged today in separate indictments with theft and sale of military equipment, including military-issued body armor, as announced by Rodger A. Heaton, U. S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. Christopher R. Henkel, age 36, of 441 South Westlawn, of Decatur, and Lee N. Shobe, 28, of 412 S. Indiana, Toledo, Illinois, had previously been charged in criminal complaints filed January 10, 2007.

The charges resulted from joint investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin S. Bruce.

Henkel, a firefighter with the city of Decatur and a Captain in the U.S. Army National Guard, was charged with one count of selling more than $1,000 in military equipment from October 25, 2006 through January 12, 2007. According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, eBay records from the last six months of 2006 reflect that Henkel allegedly sold military equipment to buyers in the U.S., Germany, Greece, Italy and Canada. The affidavit also alleges that Henkel sold a complete set of military body armor, with Kelvar inserts, and a military Global Positioning System receiver to a cooperating witness on October 28, 2006, during a controlled sale at Henkel’s home.

Shobe, a Staff Sergeant serving as a unit supply specialist assigned to the Illinois National Guard Armory in Sullivan, Illinois, is charged with one count of selling more than $1,000 in military equipment from October 11, 2006 through December 7, 2006 in Macon and Moultrie counties. According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Shobe allegedly made several sales of military equipment, from October to early December 2006, which were monitored by law enforcement agents. Military equipment allegedly sold included body armor, night vision goggles, Tasers and Taser cartridges, and a M9 Bayonet.

If convicted, the statutory penalty for the felony offense of theft of government property is up to 10 years in prison.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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