2 Fort Moore soldiers arrested with grenade simulators, mortar shell, steroids
Two Fort Moore soldiers were arrested with explosive devices, a mortar shell, close to 20 rifles and handguns, and steroids.
Two soldiers at Fort Moore face over 50 weapons charges after being arrested with grenade simulators, dozens of firearms, steroids and what appears to be a 60mm white phosphorus mortar shell that authorities said was “inert.”
Staff Sergeant Christopher Reese and Staff Sergeant Lue Lor were both arrested by local and Army authorities Tuesday, according to the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. Muscogee county is home Columbus, GA and much of Fort Moore (formerly Fort Benning).
According to the Sheriff’s release, the mortar round is “inert.” A released photo of the mortar round appears to show a M722 60mm shell – the round used by the Army’s M224 lightweight mortar — marked as a smoke round. The shell is marked with a yellow color band and partially-obscured labeling which appear to match descriptions of white phosphorus shells in an Army identification manual. Those shells create smoke clouds for battlefield concealment. Though a smoke-producing shell is not a traditional high explosive round intended to impact on enemy positions, it would still be a highly dangerous explosive if live.
Other pictures shows several dozen small explosive devices, including 28 small devices similiar to M116 simulated grenade devices. M116s are designed to simulate the combat experience of fighting with regular grenades. They are activated with a pull-string igniter and fuze — requiring a soldier to employ them in a similar way to pulling the pin on a grenade — and create a loud explosion. But its explosive charge is smaller than a grenade and is not designed to create fragmentation.
The Sheriff’s department photos also include a number of rifles, most of which appear to be civilian-style hunting rifles or highly modified carbine rifles.
The two soldiers were arrested by the Sheriff’s department, the Fort Moore Southern Field Office of Army Criminal Investigation Division
Reese was charged with:
-33 counts of Possession of Explosive Devices.
Lue Lor was charged with:
-2 counts of Possession of Explosive Devices
-1 count of Possession of Anabolic Steroids with the Intent to Distribute.
All told, police seized 33 explosives, 20 Rifles, 7 Handguns, the mortar shell and steroids.
This case is still under active investigation by the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office and Ft. Moore Criminal Investigations Division.
Fort Moore officials did not immediately return emails seeking comment on the arrests.
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