FBI: Texas Sheriff Tied To Rogue Navy Unit’s Secret Training Base Near Mexican Border
A conservative sheriff in Texas who thinks the government is our ‘Greatest Threat’ and has waged a campaign of intimidation and retribution against Democratic officials and immigrants, is now facing a criminal investigation for his potential role in the planning and execution of a secret training base set up by a rogue Navy Unit near the Mexican border, The Washington Post reported.
Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West, who is a vocal critic of President Obama, is known for busting crooner Willie Nelson for pot, accusing the Mexican army of invading U.S. territory and repeatedly blasting the federal government on television over border security.
This time, however, the country sheriff is making national news for “his connection to a rogue Navy intelligence office at the Pentagon that has been under criminal investigation for the past three years.”
As Washington Pots’ Investigative reporter Craig Whitlock writes:
“The former director of the intelligence unit, David W. Landersman, a civilian, is facing federal conspiracy charges for allegedly orchestrating a mysterious scheme to equip Navy commandos with hundreds of untraceable AK-47 rifle silencers.
A new wrinkle in the case, however, has recently emerged in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, where prosecutors have suggested that Navy officials from the intelligence unit also sought to funnel military equipment to rural Hudspeth County and set up a secret training base near the Mexican border.
Even more unusually, two of Landersman’s former subordinates have testified that when they were not working full time on intelligence matters at the Pentagon, they moonlighted 1,600 miles away as reserve deputy sheriffs in Hudspeth County, a desolate, Connecticut-size jurisdiction east of El Paso.
Also serving as deputies to Sheriff West were Landersman, his son, and the husband of one of the Navy intelligence officials, according to two Pentagon officials and others familiar with the case.
Why so many Pentagon officials and their relatives were working on the side as sheriff’s deputies in Texas has not been explained in court, where much of the evidence has been sealed to protect national security. What a training base would have been used for there is just as murky.”
Exactly what the Pentagon officials did during their stints as deputy sheriffs in Hudspeth County remains unknown.”
In a brief line of questioning, prosecutors asked Sterling Gill, a civilian Navy official who served in Hudspeth County, whether she and Landersman had tried to set up a military training center at the ranch, along with new roads, an airstrip and $14,000 worth of radios from the Defense Department.”
Gill said the radios were intended for the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office.
“The Texas connection represents another puzzle in an already enigmatic case involving the Navy intelligence unit.
The office came under scrutiny in January 2013 when one of its civilian executives appeared at a Defense Intelligence Agency office in Arlington, Va., and asked for a badge that would allow him to carry weapons on military property, according to prosecutors.
The executive flashed a set of credentials stamped with the letters LEO – an acronym for “law enforcement officer” – even though he lacked police powers. That prompted federal agents to search his office at the Pentagon, where they found more suspicious badge materials.
The investigation broadened as NCIS agents uncovered evidence that the intelligence unit had arranged an unauthorized contract to purchase AK-47 silencers from Landersman’s brother, Mark, a California hot-rod mechanic.
Under terms of the deal, Mark Landersman produced a batch of 349 homemade, unmarked silencers in a machine shop and sold them to the Navy for $1.6 million, even though they cost only $10,000 in parts and labor to make.”
Source: The Washington Post.