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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) An M-16, like the rifle seen at top in this file photo, went missing from the Davis County Sheriff's Office probably sometime before 2006, according to a report. The U.S. Department of Defense provided the rifle. At bottom is a civilian model AR-15.
Utah deputy had missing M-16 in safe for eight years, sheriff says
First Published Apr 17 2014 11:33 am • Last Updated Apr 19 2014 07:51 pm

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.

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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




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