Ex-WV security guard sentenced for firearms theft

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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A former security guard at a federal facility in West Virginia has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for stealing firearms and ammunition.

U.S. Attorney Bill Powell says in a news release 52-year-old Christopher Lee Yates of Martinsburg was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty in federal court in April to one count each of possession of a stolen firearm and theft of government property.

The statement says Yates was a contract employee at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ National Disposal Branch in Martinsburg and took firearms, parts and ammunition from the facility from 2016 to early 2019. Authorities say he sold the property to people around the country.

The statement says the ATF has recovered 4,625 of the stolen pieces, but many items remain missing.

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