“Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence said his deputies found a constable’s assault rifle that reportedly had been missing for at least a year,” Texas’ valleymorningstar.com reports. Wait. “Reportedly missing”? Don’t they mean had been missing? No! See the thing is, “It was in his department’s weapons room.” You mean, the “assault rifle” had been in police custody all the time? Well not exactly . . .
But [Sheriff] Spence said there was no record of who turned in the M4 rifle or the date when it was placed in the department’s armory.
Policy requires officials to keep records of residents who turn in guns to the department, Spence said.
“It probably slipped through procedures,” Spence said. “Someone evidently brought it in for safekeeping.”
Of course! Safekeeping! That’s what happened. The idea that someone in the police department “borrowed” the rifle without authorization then snuck it back into the police armory when the department made a stink about it is so preposterous I won’t even mention it here. Oops. The “real” story is even more confusing.
Last week, a standard inventory audit led District Attorney Bernard Ammerman to raise questions about the rifle’s whereabouts.
Precinct 1 Constable Albert Oviedo filed a report of the missing rifle in August after searching for the gun since his appointment in January 2014.
Oviedo, who had been Precinct 1’s constable before Martin Nieto was elected in 2012, said he had turned in the rifle to then-County Judge John F. Gonzales Jr.’s [above] office at the end of Nieto’s term in January 2013.
Nieto said Gonzales declined to give him the rifle and a handgun because Nieto was not a certified peace officer.
But Gonzales repeatedly said his office never had possession of the rifle.
Anyway, the rifle’s back in “safe” hands. Any suggestion that a judge illegally appropriated a police-issue M4 rifle, then covered his tracks (with a little help from his friends) is so preposterous I won’t even mention it. D’oh!