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4 Arrested After Military Equipment Stolen in Auburn, Syracuse

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Four people are facing charges following a month-long investigation into the theft and resale of government-owned military equipment.

According to State Police, the investigation began in June when they were informed by the US Army Criminal Investigation Division that James Waleski, a Department of Defense federal civilian employed at the 174th Air National Guard Attack Wing in Syracuse, was selling military-grade equipment not available to the general public on Facebook Marketplace.

Search warrants were executed on the 50-year-old’s Jamesville residence, phone, and computer. The warrants resulted in the recovery of tens of thousands of dollars worth of military equipment that had been stolen from the 174th, the 272nd Army Military Police Detachment in Auburn, and the Army National Guard 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Syracuse.

Further investigation revealed that Waleski was stealing the equipment and selling the items online and in person. Troopers were able to recover equipment from Texas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, and locally in Taberg and Flushing, New York. In one instance, a ballistic vest was recovered that was going to be reshipped to Russia.

44-year-old Gordon Reynolds, a Military Police Officer at the 272nd in Auburn, and 38-year-old Joriann Garcia-Hernandez, a Unit Specialist assigned to Company D 152nd Brigade Engineer Battalion in Syracuse, are also alleged to have been stealing items and were charged accordingly.

Additionally, during the search warrant of the Waleski residence, an illegal rifle was recovered. The gun was not obtained through Waleski’s employment as a federal employee, according to investigators.

Waleski has been charged with ten counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon – High Capacity Magazines, and one count each of Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of a Weapon – Assault Weapon, all felonies. He was also charged with a misdemeanor count of Unlawful Sale of Body Armor.

Gordon Reynolds of Chittenango was charged with felony counts of Criminal possession of Stolen Property and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon.

Garcia-Hernandez of Rome was charged with a misdemeanor count of Petit Larceny.

Additionally, 40-year-old Jennifer Waleski was charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon – Assault Weapon.

The investigation was led by the State Police Community Stabilization Unit with assistance from the Violent Gangs & Narcotics Team, Counter Terrorism & Intelligence Unit, the FBI, Maddison County District Attorney’s Office, Army Criminal Investigations Division, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and Command Staff at the 174th, 272, and 27th.

Police are asking anyone with information related to the investigation or anyone who purchased equipment from Waleski to call Investigator Carl Schneider at 315-366-6000.

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