U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Southern District of Georgia
Southern District of Georgia
For Immediate Release
January 24, 2014
Edward J. Tarver, United States Attorney
Contact: James D. Durham
Jury Convicts Former Air Force Firearms Instructor of Embezzling Government Funds & Unlicensed Dealing in Firearms
Brunswick, GA – Timothy John Arnold, 43, of Allenstown, New Hampshire (formerly of Brunswick, Georgia) was found guilty earlier this week by a federal jury in Brunswick, Georgia on nine charges relating to the embezzlement and conversion of federal funds, the unauthorized disposition of federal property, and unlicensed manufacturing and dealing in firearms. Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood presided over the five-day jury trial.
United States Attorney Edward Tarver said, “Members of our Armed Services protect our country, our communities, and our way of life. In this day of tight budgets and constricted funding, it is more important than ever that every taxpayer dollar meant for our military be utilized to the fullest extent, particularly when meant for training designed to protect the lives of those who protect us. We will vigorously prosecute the theft for private gain of federal funds and government property. Our district is the home of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, where the criminal investigators for 96 federal agencies are trained. The integrity of its programs is of great importance to our nation, and we will continue to do all we can to preserve its effectiveness through criminal prosecution of those who would steal government money and property to their own gain.”
According to the evidence presented at trial, Arnold, who was an instructor of Firearms and Tactics for the United States Air Force Special Investigations Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) at Glynco, Georgia from 2005 to 2011, used a government credit card and government contract purchasing orders to buy large numbers of firearms parts and other unauthorized items, totaling over $400,000.00 over a five-year period. Arnold retained some government property for himself and sold, traded away, or gave away other government property. Arnold used the firearms parts he purchased with Air Force funds to manufacture customized AR-15-style rifles, which Arnold then sold to individuals who had ordered the rifles from him. In connection with his unlicensed manufacturing and dealing in firearms, Arnold was also convicted for the unlawful interstate transportation of the receivers necessary to build the rifles, which receivers had not been acquired in conformity with the law.
The investigation of Arnold’s embezzlement, conversion, and unauthorized disposition of government money and property, and his unlicensed manufacturing and dealing in firearms, was a joint effort of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Special Agent Wendell Palmer, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Special Agent Henry Countryman. Assistant United States Attorney Fred Kramer prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.