New York State Police in Oneida have announced the arrest of 4 Upstate New Yorkers, including a Rome resident, on charges of stealing and selling high-end military gear.

On Monday, Troopers announced the arrest of the following individuals in connection with a month-long investigation led by the NYSP Community Stabilization Unit into the theft and resale of government-owned military equipment.

James E. Waleski (50) of 4613 Odell Place Jamesville, NY

•Grand Larceny 2nd degree (C-felony)

•(10 Counts) Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd degree - high-capacity magazines (D-Felony)

•Criminal Possession of Weapon 3rd degree - Assault Weapon (D-Felony)

•Unlawful Sale of Body Armor(A-Misdemeanor)
Jennifer Waleski (40) of 4613 Odell Place Jamesville, NY

•Criminal Possession of Weapon 3rd degree - Assault Weapon (D-Felony)
Gordon D. Reynolds (44) of 230 Seneca Street Chittenango, NY

•Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4th degree (E-Felony)

•Criminal Possession of Weapon 3rd degree - Assault Weapon (D- Felony) *

•Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd degree - High-Capacity Magazine (D-Felony) *
Joriann Garcia-Hernandez (38) of 143 Air City Blvd Rome, NY

•Petit Larceny (A-Misdemeanor)
According to Trooper Jack Keller, the items were allegedly stolen by employees at the 174th Air National Guard in Syracuse and were ultimately sold on Facebook Marketplace. Some of the items, according to police, were actually ending up in Russia.

Details from NYSP

In June, State Police were contacted by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and advised that a suspicious Facebook Marketplace account had been opened by James Waleski, a Department of Defense federal civilian employed at the 174th Air National Guard Attack Wing in Syracuse, NY.  They further advised that Waleski was offering to sell military-grade equipment that was not available to the general public.  Search warrants were executed on Waleski’s residence, phone, and computer which resulted in the recovery of tens of thousands of dollars of military equipment that had been stolen from the 174th, the 272nd Army Military Police Detachment in Auburn, NY, and the Army National Guard 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Syracuse, NY.

Further investigation revealed that Waleski was stealing military equipment, some sensitive in nature, and selling the items online and in person.  The New York State Police recovered thousands of dollars of military equipment from Texas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, and locally from Taberg and Flushing, NY.  In one instance Investigators recovered a ballistic vest that was being reshipped to Russia.

During the search warrant at the Waleski residence an illegal assault rifle, not obtained through his employment as a federal employee, was recovered.

During the course of this investigation it was revealed that Reynolds, a Military Police Officer assigned to the 272nd Military Police Detachment in Auburn, NY, and Garcia-Hernandez, a Unit Supply Specialist assigned to Company D 152nd Brigade Engineer Battalion in Syracuse, were also stealing items and therefore charged accordingly.

This investigation was led by the State Police Community Stabilization Unit who were assisted by the State Police Violent Gangs & Narcotics Enforcement Team, the State Police Counter Terrorism & Intelligence Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation – Syracuse Office, Madison County District Attorney’s Office, Army Criminal Investigations Division, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Command Staff at the 174th, the 272nd, and the 27th.  The investigation was conducted and closely coordinated by and with the office of Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick.

Troopers are asking anyone with information regarding this investigation, or anyone who has purchased military equipment from James Waleski, is asked to call Investigator Carl Schneider at State Police Headquarters in Oneida at (315) 366-6000.

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