Former Staff Sgt. Joel Cleve Miller, 40, came across the chrome-plated gun during his 14-month tour that ended in 2005. Somehow, Miller managed to smuggle the weapon past US customs into his home at Hemet, California.
Miller must have had plenty of wits or luck to carry the gun thousands of miles without being discovered, but he ran out of both as soon as he set foot on US soil. Miller and his wife bragged to friends that he’s smuggled a gun away from Hussein’s royal guard. He later showed the gun off at a birthday party, and guests at the party posted pictures of the weapon on MySpace.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service stumbled upon the AK-47 after Miller’s wife filed for divorce and requested that the NCIS remove several guns for the safety of their young children. Once the gun was out in the open, there was more than enough evidence and eye witness accounts to convict Miller.
The US Marine Corp promptly discharged Miller under “bad conduct,” claiming that he stole from the US government and approved false travel claims. He’ll be sentenced on Sept. 27, and he could be hit with a 10 year prison sentence.
This may seem like a harsh punishment, but NCIS Acting Supervisory Special Agent Albert Nelson explained, “This case sends a strong message that we will continue to investigate those who illegally possess and distribute dangerous weapons.”
So, if any readers out there are hiding Osama Bin Laden’s rocket launcher in your closet, you might want to ditch that weapon ASAP.