USAF firearms instructor convicted of selling guns bought with Uncle's cash

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So you know a guy who trains and builds guns for the military and runs a little biz on the side. Well think twice before you buy one of his builds and remember the recent case of one Timothy John Arnold.

Too good to be true

Arnold, 43, was an instructor of Firearms and Tactics for the United States Air Force Special Investigations Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) at Glynco, Georgia from 2005 to 2011. During that time period the decorated instructor, who wore a Ranger tab and military scuba patch on his uniform, specialized in making high speed civilian-legal AR's on the side.

In fact, during that time he apparently spent some $400,000 on gun parts. These he used to build and sell a number of guns to friends, friends of friends, and interested parties. His guns were so good, in fact that he even sold a half dozen of them to a sheriff's department in Illinois.

The thing is, the bankroll came from his USAF credit card paid for by the government and to make matters worse, Arnold did not have an FFL or SOTS license to sell or make firearms.

Um, about that...

This led to an investigation by not only the Air Force's Office of Special Investigation but also the BATFE. Their findings were turned over to the US Attorney who wound up charging Arnold on nine charges relating to the embezzlement and conversion of federal funds, the unauthorized disposition of federal property, and unlicensed manufacturing and dealing in firearms.

After a five-day trial in federal court, a judge handed down a conviction last week.

Oh yeah, and the Ranger tab and SCUBA patch? According to an article in Stars and Stripes, they were not authorized.

The same article even said, "Arnold told people he was a Marine sniper, after taking a class taught by one."

"Members of our armed services protect our country, our communities, and our way of life. In this day of tight budgets and constricted funding, it is more important than ever that every taxpayer dollar meant for our military be utilized to the fullest extent, particularly when meant for training designed to protect the lives of those who protect us," said U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver.

Arnold is currently facing 25 years in federal prison as well as a $750,000 fine

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February 4, 2014  •  07:26 AM
Cant say I feel sorry for the guy.
October 6, 2014  •  04:31 PM
Here is what really happened in this case. This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding Air Force corruption an entanglement in civilian courts.