Local News

Air Force instructors accused of selling military weapons, ammo

Posted March 23, 2012

— Air Force investigators have accused two combat arms instructors at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base of stealing military weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition and selling them online.

According to applications for search warrants to access two email accounts, Charles Poling and Devin Starling had more than 23,000 rounds of ammunition in their possession that matched lot numbers tied to Seymour Johnson. Investigators also seized several weapons from Poling's on-base home and Starling's vehicle, federal court records show.

Poling's wife told a military informant that her husband often sold stolen military ordnance, and investigators traced dozens of Internet sales allegedly made by Poling and Starling to buyers in nearly 20 states, according to the search warrant applications.

Poling, who is on temporary assignment in Greenland, and Starling have not been charged in the case.


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  • gunny462 Mar 27, 2012

    First off, all ammo is budgeted whether it's for training or combat use. Meaning that it's a use or lose situation every year. Me thinks one of these guys was the weapons account custodian/manager and was fobbing the quarterly and yearly inventories on the weapons and ammo.

  • msgtlen Mar 23, 2012

    First off, it was at an Air Force Base. I'm sure there have been
    instances at Army bases, but that is not reflected in this article. That being said, at no time is there an excuse for the misappropriation of anything for personal use or sale. They should be found guilty by court marshal, spent time at the "fort" and be dishonorably discharged. It reflects badly on those that do the right thing.

  • dwr1964 Mar 23, 2012

    Seems like the army needs to set up a metal detector along with all the other search specialists needed to get on/off base.... kadee123

    Really? You read this article and missed the first two words of the title? Some how I don't think the Army doing anything will halt the exploits of the AIR FORCE. And you are probably the first in line to ask what is wrong with our kids today. It might just start with the intelligence of our adults.

  • Worland Mar 23, 2012

    Our combat arms guys had to be qualified on every weapon on base. They were allotted enormous amounts of ammo for their own training. After a few years on the job, it was just a waste of their time to go through the practice part of qualifying. That left them with huge amounts of ammo at the end of the year.

    Instead of stealing it, they would throw a couple of weekend BBQs at the range and let several dozen troops hone their skills with the excess ammo. Troops that normally didn't get any training with the M9, M11 or MP5 got some valuable trigger time. Probably saved some lives a few years later.

  • nonemeant Mar 23, 2012

    Seems like the army needs to set up a metal detector along with all the other search specialists needed to get on/off base.