A US Marine at California’s Camp Pendleton pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal and sell hundreds of dollars in expended brass casings.
Ex-Corporal Blake E. Vonarx of Weapons and Field Training Battalion at MCRD San Diego pleaded guilty on April 24 to charges of criminal conspiracy, wrongful disposition of government property and larceny.
In a fate arguably worse than death, he was sentenced to five months confinement, reduction to the rank of Private and a bad-conduct discharge.
Leaving Minnesota in 2013 to join the Marines, Vonarx served the Marines as an infantryman and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Waiting for expended casings to be swept up after range details for consolidation and scrapping, the mischievous ex-Marine retrieved the brass from the range’s storage facilities and -after getting caught- deleted text messages outlining his plot.
Violating nine specifications of military law, Vonarx soon found his accomplice and fellow Marine caught in the dragnet.
Collecting brass for scrap is a big industry of sorts and a frequent offense on military installations. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Vonarx’s offense only amounted to about $500, but others (who have been caught) have netted over $56,000.
According to his Facebook profile, Vonarx is married and Graduated from Woodbury High School in Woodbury, Minnesota.
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