Indiana Army post hit by inside theft; manager sent to prison

James Emmons pleads guilty to theft charge

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - A civilian manager at a southern Indiana Army weapons facility has been sentenced to federal prison for using an Army credit card to line his own pockets.

James Nathan Emmons, the production facilitator at the Crane Army Ammunition Activity in Crane, Ind., pleaded guilty in Evansville United States District Court.

READ: Court documents

Emmons was responsible for using a government credit card to make purchases of military supplies, but in 2012 federal agents started tracking personal charges for computers, professional-grade sound and DJ equipment, high-dollar amplifiers and speakers, as well as numerous handguns and rifles.

Agents wrote in court papers that none of the purchases was authorized by the Army, and they confiscated dozens of the items while searching his home and a storage unit.

Agents said taxpayers ended up footing the bill for nearly $160,000 worth of notebook computers, televisions, disc jockey sound equipment, digital cameras and other electronics, as well as a number of firearms.

Prosecutors filed paperwork to have the goods forfeited to the government as part of the criminal proceedings against Emmons.

Agents said they found in Emmons’ possession three pistols, including one with a night scope, along with a 12-gauge shotgun, a .22-caliber rifle and a .45-caliber rifle. They also confiscated 56 rounds of ammunition.

The computers seized by federal agents include a MacBook laptop, an Apple iPad with keyboard and two HP Pavilion laptops. 

Agents said Emmons used the government card to buy numerous speakers and amplifiers, as well as other professional sound equipment such as a Pioneer DJ mixer and two other audio mixers, along with 15 LED lights used for a DJ’s sound stage.

After pleading guilty to the felony count of Theft of Public Money, court records show a pastor and a number of family members wrote letters to the federal judge to urge a light sentence for Emmons' crimes.  

The judge sentenced Emmons to 18 months in federal prison.

He is free on bond and is set to report at a later date to serve his sentence.   He will serve three years of supervised release probation after he is released from prison.

Crane Army Ammunition Activity public affairs officers did not respond to an email from the Call 6 Investigators to inquire about whether Emmons has been removed from his position.

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