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Utah deputy had missing M-16 in safe for eight years, sheriff says

Published April 17, 2014 6:52 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Davis County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that a deputy took a once-missing M-16 rifle before he deployed to Afghanistan.

The deputy faces what the office said could be "administrative action." The matter also will be reviewed by the county attorney, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

The disclosure by the sheriff's office ends the mystery of what happened to the fully automatic M-16, which technically still belongs to the Defense Department. The Pentagon provided 20 such rifles to the Davis County Sheriff's Office in 1998.

In its news release, the sheriff's office said that in 2006 a deputy on the SWAT team, who also served in the military, was to be deployed to Afghanistan for 1½ years and took the rifle for training. The deputy put the rifle in his safe at home, deployed, returned, then served another tour in the Middle East.

The deputy forgot about the rifle until he saw a newspaper article last week about the investigation into the rifle's disappearance, the release said. The deputy notified his superior, and the rifle was returned Friday.

ncarlisle@sltrib.com

Twitter: @natecarlisle