4/8/2013 - SIAD Employee Arrested, Accused of Theft -
A 36-year old employee at Sierra Army Depot has been arrested and accused of stealing and selling sophisticated military equipment that is routinely shipped to the base from the Southwest Asia theater. Devon Gregory Biggs, Jr. is accused of trying to smuggle equipment valued at nearly $85,000 off the sprawling 36,000 acre Army base.
Some history about Biggs and his job are coming out. He'd been in charge of a crew receiving and categorizing military gear coming into Warehouse 301--that's the initial receiving point for thousands of non-standard equipment items being returned from Southwest Asia. According to an affidavit filed in federal court, Biggs was a lead employee and had unlimited access to items before they were inventoried and documented. A separate source indicated he may have been observed by surveillance cameras for a period of time and that agents had been tipped by co-workers.
How long the thefts had been occurring isn't known, but he was taken into custody Wednesday after officers found sophisticated items in a backpack--they included advanced thermal imagers, night vision goggles, lasers and scope mounts. Court papers say he had removed m16 fully-automatic rifles modified with adjustable stocks and converted to accept sound suppressors. Personal ownership of those kinds of weapons are illegal in the U.S., but they are highly prized by gun enthusiasts.
He appeared Friday in Federal Court in Sacramento and was released on a $50,000 unsecured appearance bond that Biggs and an uncle had co-signed. If a federal grand jury indictment is handed down, he'll be arraigned on April 26th.
Trying to determine just how much Biggs may have stolen will be a challenge. The gear is packed and shipped to Herlong from the War Zone and often is not thoroughly examined or inventoried there before it arrives at Herlong. And there are thousands of containers that have arrived at Herlong since that base was designated a primary receiving point for all kinds of military equipment coming back.