Audit: Arkansas prison surplus ammunition sold by employee

Auditors say surplus ammunition for Arkansas’ state prison programs was taken and sold by a Department of Corrections employee

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Surplus gun ammunition for Arkansas’ state prison programs was taken and sold by a Department of Corrections employee, in response to an auditor for the state.

Arkansas Legislative Audit workers member Don Morgan informed a legislative committee Wednesday {that a} 2020 audit discovered 28,352 rounds of ammunition for .38-caliber revolvers that had been despatched to the division’s Central Armory in 2017 for disposal couldn’t be discovered, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The ammunition was price $8,000.

Corrections Secretary Solomon Graves, who was appointed in 2020, mentioned the employee who took the ammunition not works for the division and was a part-time gunsmith, permitting him to promote it without being questioned. Graves mentioned the case was referred to Jefferson County prosecutors, who later informed him they didn’t discover enough proof to file felony fees. The audit didn’t establish the employee.

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“It seems folks assumed that the ammo was simply one thing he got here throughout in regular business,” Graves mentioned.

Phone calls to the prosecuting legal professional’s workplace rang unanswered Thursday.

Committee members questioned why they had been simply now studying of the lacking ammunition.

“You are telling me that 28,000 rounds simply disappeared and will have been on the streets of Little Rock, Pine Bluff or Beebe,” mentioned Republican Rep. Jim Wooten. “I wish to submit that that is ridiculous.”

Morgan mentioned the previous employee apparently sold the ammunition to co-workers.

“From what we are able to inform, the opposite staff had no idea it was Central Armory ammo they had been shopping for,” Morgan mentioned.

An absence of enough stock controls allowed the lacking ammunition to go undiscovered for a number of years, Graves mentioned.

“We had a system that was based mostly on honesty,” Graves mentioned. “We have since moved on to an automatic stock system.”

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Prison officers mentioned the ammunition was for revolvers that had been not getting used due to a shift to different weapons.

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