Pentagon accidentally sends Tennessee sheriff double the guns he ordered

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Buried deep within a 2003 internal audit of the Pentagon's controversial 1033 equipment-sharing program lies a single statistic that suggests the problems of sloppy bookkeeping are more than a decade old.


The audit, conducted by the Pentagon's Inspector General, found that 45 percent of the equipment transfers showed discrepancies between the amount of property approved for transfer and quantity of material that actually changed hands.

Read More: How did America's police departments lose loads of military-issued weapons?

Eleven year later , the Pentagon program continues to be plagued by similar record keeping and logistical errors. The latest notable case occurred in the rural area of McMinn County, Tennessee, where Sheriff Joe Guy says the Pentagon sent him double the amount of guns he ordered for his department. Thanks to the shipment error, Sheriff Guys says, the McMinn County Police Department is now armed to the teeth, with five guns for every officer.

"There was a little error in the order," Guy told Tennessee's News Channel 5. "[But now] they're here as our department grows. We'll have additional firearms for future officers."

Read More: Are police profiting from 'missing' military equipment?


Fusion reached out to the Pentagon to inquire whether any of the recommendations from the 2003 Inspector Generals' audit were implemented. The spokesman said "they must have been," without offering further detail. He said he didn't know if any subsequent audits had been conducted in the past decade.

President Barack Obama meanwhile has ordered a review of the Pentagon's 1033 program, following the protests and police crackdown in wake of the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson, Misourri.


See the full 2003 report from the Inspector's General below.

Inspector Generals Report


Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.