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US: 3 sheriff's officers charged with illegal laser sales

Three officers in the Lake County (Indiana) Sheriff’s Department were indicted for illegally reselling laser sights and machine gun parts that are restricted for law enforcement use only. The officers resigned, accepted responsibility, and entered into a plea agreement announced September 22 2011.

92 laser sights and 74 automatic machine guns were ordered between Sept. 2008 and January 2010 on Lake County letterhead and purchase orders. The officers paid for the products with personal funds. The amount earned from Internet resales was not stated, although the three officers were also indicted for understating their personal income by a total of $387,000.

The laser products came from Insight Technology Inc. and Laser Devices Inc. The 92 restricted laser sights were purchased for approximately $1000 to $1400 each and were sold on eBay for around $2800 to $4200 each. A special agent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (which regulates laser devices) made an undercover purchase as part of the evidence-gathering process in the case.
The FDA was involved in the investigation along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the FBI; the Defense Department; and the Internal Revenue Service.

Edward Kabella, Joseph Kumstar and Ronald Slusser each were charged with one count of conspiring to provide false information to a federal firearms licensee, one count of conspiring to defraud the FDA and one count of making false statements under oath on a tax return. Slusser also is charged with one count of laundering or structuring of monetary instruments.

The indictment charged that the three men conspired to “defraud the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an agency of the United States, by interfering with and obstructing the lawful government functions of the FDA to: a) limit the sale of various restricted laser aiming sight devices to the military and law enforcement agencies only; [and] b) Correctly identify first line purchasers of various laser aiming sight devices which were restricted to military or law enforcement agency purchasers only. All in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 371.”

From nwi.com and the federal indictment of the three officers. Thanks to Daniel Hewett of the FDA for bringing this to our attention.