National Guard members arrested in military-gear sales

Two National Guardsmen who served in Iraq have been arrested, accused of illegally selling thousands of dollars of stolen military gear from night-vision equipment to body armor on eBay.

Christopher R. Henkel and Lee N. Shobe were arrested Friday on charges of stealing government property after allegedly selling military gear to undercover agents for more than $7,000 (Ђ5,422).

Neither has been formally charged, according to the court clerk's office.

Henkel maintained an eBay site where he allegedly sold military equipment ranging from night-vision equipment to clothing over the past six months, according to the complaint. Some of the eBay buyers were in Germany, Greece, Italy and Canada.

It was unclear whether he sold items for Shobe on his site.

"It appears they were just looking for anywhere they could unload it," said Marshall Stone, an FBI supervisory special agent.

Henkel declined comment Wednesday. A message left for Shobe was not returned. Both men have retained attorneys, but neither attorney could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Both men spent about a year in Iraq, returning in the spring of 2006, Army National Guard Col. Alicia Tate-Nadeau said.

In October, according to the complaint, Shobe sold night-vision equipment and body armor to an undercover buyer for $1,100. (Ђ852) In November and December, Shobe allegedly sold armor, a Taser and other gear for $2,300 (Ђ1,781).

Henkel was arrested after allegedly selling body armor and a global-positioning-system for $4,000 (Ђ3,098) in late October to an undercover employee of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, according to the complaint, reports AP.

eBay prohibits the auction of military objects, ordnance and grenades, including body armor, night-vision gear and other items that cannot clearly be identified as coming from a legitimate source, company spokeswoman Catherine England said.

The company reports potentially stolen goods to police, but in this case only provided records after being contacted by law enforcement, she said.

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