X

Did a Dull-Sounding Navy Office Go Rogue?

Court documents dig into $1.6M purchase of unmarked silencers
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2014 10:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – There's a little-known, civilian-run Navy office in the Pentagon that's meant to provide "programmatic oversight" of intelligence operations—but as the Washington Post puts it, "some of its activities have fallen into a gray area, crossing into more active involvement with secret missions." According to court documents, the investigation into the somewhat dull-sounding Directorate for Plans, Policy, Oversight, and Integration arose two years ago, after prosecutors say a California auto mechanic conspired with the office to make 349 untraceable automatic-rifle silencers that could be used for "highly secretive military operations." One directorate official even reportedly told an "unnamed witness" that the silencers were bound for SEAL Team 6; a rep for the team says that isn't so.

It's a convoluted case, in part because the accused auto mechanic says the Navy destroyed a hoard of automatic rifles that the silencers were designed for. A source says the rifles were seized overseas, meaning that both they and the unmarked silencers wouldn't trace back to the US. The auto mechanic has a curious tie-in to the directorate: The head of the office is his brother, and the mechanic was reportedly paid $1.6 million for silencers that only cost $10,000 to put together. A former Navy official spoke to the Post on condition of anonymity, labeling the directorate staff as "wanna-be spook-cops" and adding, "I know it sounds goofy, but it was like they were building their own mini law enforcement and intelligence agency." Trials for both the auto mechanic and a Navy official accused of buying the silencers are set to begin later this month. (Read more Pentagon stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.