Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Biggs was not alone! Sierra Army Depot Truth

Tony Herrin
Partner In Crime (allegedly)
On Tuesday July 8, 2014, the U.S. Attorney's office has charged Tony Herrin, 36, of Reno, Nevada with two counts of conspiracy to steal and sell government property.   This is the second civilian worker at the Sierra Army Depot of Herlong, California to be charged with stealing sophisticated military gear.  The Sierra Army Depot processes "non-standard equipment" returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner accused Tony Herrin of helping Devon Biggs steal military gear.  Biggs worked with Herrin in remote location in Lassen County.   FBI arrested Devon Biggs of Sparks last year.  Investigators recorded him allegedly smuggling nearly $85,000 worth of equipment, including night vision equipment, scopes and components of a fully automatic assault rifle. Assistant United States Attorneys Jean M. Hobler and Christian Highsmith are prosecuting the case. Both cases were filed in the U.S. District Court in Sacramento.

The Indictment
Nepotism has its privileges.
Tony Herrin's stepfather Rick Anderson 
recently retired from the Depot as a Director.

On Thursday, July 3, 2014, a federal grand jury returned a twocount indictment. Between January and April 2013, Herrin and Biggs conspired to steal and sell United States military equipment from SIAD.

On numerous occasions Herrin and Biggs removed U.S. military equipment from SIAD buildings.  Biggs and Herrin adjusted item codes in the computer database to conceal their thefts.  They also arranged to sell the equipment to various buyers.

The Sierra Army Depot in Lassen County receives, identifies, stores, manages and ships military equipment world-wide. Herrin and Biggs worked there as civilian employees. Part of their job was to inventory equipment when it arrives and move it to storage, the indictment said. The two men allegedly "agreed to equally split the proceeds from the sale of the stolen military equipment."

On one occasion, they loaded a military vehicle with equipment stolen from the Sierra Army Depot (SIAD), drove the vehicle from SIAD to a parking lot just outside the SIAD gate, and sold the equipment to an individual whom they had arranged to meet.

Just a coincidence?
Tony Herrin's stepbrother and Rick Anderson's son 
Chad Anderson works on the depot as a Property 
Book Officer.
When Police arrested Biggs on April 3, 2013, a police officer at the scene found Biggs' cell phone during a search of the vehicle. The phone was still turned on. Biggs' last text messages regarded the police, such as
"FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, SHIT The Cops Are Coming!" Police found laser and thermal imaging materials.

Our sources tell us that Biggs was texting Rick Anderson’s son.  Rick Anderson was a director at the Depot. He later retired.  Rick Anderson has two sons who work as Supervisors on the Depot – Chad Anderson and Tony Herrin, his stepson.  It is not known whether or not Rick Anderson or Chad Anderson had any involvement in the theft conspiracy.

Mike Bott of News 10 Sacramento reports that Christopher David Dudevoir, Colt Baldwin, Patrick Owens and Richard Michael Davis received stolen goods from Biggs and Herrin. 

Our sources also tell us that a week after Biggs’ arrest, Sierra Army Depot escorted Herrin off the base.   This contradicts earlier reports from Sierra Army Depot stating the Biggs theft was an isolated case.

The Arraignment

Devon Biggs
Martha Bellisle of the Reno Gazette-Journal reported that Herrin's lawyer, Richard Molezzo helped Herrin with his extradition order but has not reviewed the charges and could not comment.

Herrin made an initial appearance in Reno on Monday. The court has scheduled his arraignment on July 14, 2014.   Biggs has pleaded not guilty in a separate indictment on May 5, 2013.  Biggs will appear in district court for a status conference on September 17, 2014.

Devon Biggs featured with his supervisor William Riley Junk

This case is the product of an investigation by the Law Enforcement Division of the United States Army and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

If convicted, Herrin faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on count one and 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on count two. 

Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The man with the long beard is James Marcotte.

How did this even happen?

William Riley Junk
Devon Biggs sold one of my informants  (codename: WATER LILY) a TV for $ 700.   She discovered it was stolen.    When "I picked up the TV, he had an eviction notice on his fridge. His kids were there. I paid it on a verbal that he would give fifty a pay period. I didn't want them homeless.... like me."  So WATER LILY paid Biggs rent too.  Biggs owed her $ 1700.  How did Biggs propose to resolve the debt?  He offered her night vision googles.  She refused.

All depot employees have to go through local agency check.  James Marcotte of Sierra Army Depot Security investigates each new hire's criminal history.  The receipt and trade of stolen goods would indicate that Biggs had a criminal history.  Our reports thus far indicate that Biggs did not have a criminal history.

The Rest of the Story

Two weeks before WATER LILY and my informants informed the FBI about Devon Biggs, they told William Riley Junk.  Who is William Riley Junk?  William Riley Junk is the project champion for the NSE program. 

Carolina and John Dingman
From what my informants told me that as early as 2003, Don Olson, John Dingman and William Riley Junk got the Army to buy off on the NSE or Non-Standard Equipment program on the premise that they were going steal big screen TVs and things like that.  They were disappointed at first with what the soldiers were shipping back until they realized that they could get more money from the guns and weapons systems.  In May of 2009, the Army program dubbed NSE Retrograde oversaw the shipment of over 3.9 million pieces of equipment from Iraq alone.  Most of the NSE Retrograde material went to the 38,000-acre Sierra Army Depot.

This material went to Warehouse 301 - John Dingman's warehouse.  Not only was this William Riley Junk's program and the crown jewel of his professional success, but it was his money train.

Sierra Army Depot Royalty
The Untouchables
William Riley Junk responded to testimony witnessing Devon Bigg's theft of government property by announcing that he was going on vacation.  He would attend to it on his return.  "He did nothing for two weeks."  The informants then wrote statements to Jim Switzowics.  

My informants used official channels to contact the Federal Police.  These officials then told John Dingman.  (You do know that John Dingman’s wife, Carolina Dingman is the Commander’s secretary, right?)  John Dingman wrote false statements about them.  These statements were immediately discredited.  After that Dingman and Junk pulled the informants into his office and with Hamilton on speakerphone. Hamilton lavished praise on them individually.

Dingman’s Flunky

Rebecca Crites-Sanchez
William Riley Junk's Property Book Officer
My informants told me that they wanted to file Union grievances against Rebecca Sanchez and Berna Martinez.  Someone in authority denied their request because they were friends of his.  

This same Rebecca Sanchez was William Riley Junk's Property Book Officer.  My informants confirmed that they witnessed Rebecca Sanchez delete entries in Property Book Systems on William Riley Junk's orders.  Then Junk and Jeff Holmes drove out to the connex, loaded the material into their supervisor's truck and drove off with them.  I have not been able to confirm what the material was from my informants for they are very discouraged.   They believe that Junk had Sanchez write a statement against Biggs to protect themselves.    

Sanchez also claims credit for blowing the whistle on Biggs, when it fact Sanchez tried to sabotage the investigation in its cradle.  My informants all believe that Sanchez was complicit of the organized crime.  Sanchez's facebook "is covered with pictures of Biggs, Herrin and Anderson.  Also prior to the Biggs incident Sanchez lived in Reno.  She relocated to Janesville shortly after.
After Bigg's Arrest

Who hired Archie Zapanta?
All sorts of irregularities continued in Junk’s Warehouse 301 AFTER BIGG’S ARREST. For example, my informants reported no 3161s (Department of Army Form  3161 - the manifests.)  This contradicts Lieutenant Colonel Robert Charles Slosson's May 5, 2014 public statement to Thom Jensen of News 10 Sacramento where he stated that all returning war material was accounted for with an accompanying paper trail. 

In my interview with James Marcotte, head of internal security at the Sierra Army Depot on October 30, 2103, Marcotte stated that Sierra managers removed surveillance cameras used to arrest Biggs.  Marcotte also stated that there are no cameras in the warehouses and no effective loss prevention systems to prevent spillage exist on the Depot.  Marcotte also stated that Garrison Manager George Ray has denied every request Marcotte has made to bring Sierra up to industry standards when it comes to loss prevention.

The informants stated there are DA 3161's one for bras, underwear and Body Armor but none for weapons and IED defeat devices.  Sierra recovered a lost Army NSE property in the Containerization section called CNA.  They want to know why NSE material would be in CNA. Susan Getty supervises CNA.

Don Olson with Don Yancey
Dingman and his henchman Archie Zapanta hid triwalls (a container) of material in the back in Nancy block a month later.  They state the thefts continued AFTER Biggs' arrest.  In one incident, two of my informants reported they found a night vision scope in a barracks bag in warehouse 307 on a Friday.  They gave it to Donald Lee Yancey (445-025 Hwy 395, Doyle, CA 96109) to turn over to NSE.  On Monday, Yancey said he was sick.  When the informants told Veronica Danner that Yancey put the Night Vision Goggles in the file cabinet and it needs to be accounted for.  When they opened up the cabinet, it was gone.  They asked for an explanation.  They never got one.  Yancey was leader for NSE from 2010-2011.

Who hired Archie Zapanta?

Arturo Zapanta (70) with Joe Henderson on his last day of "work."
Joe Henderson is officially "in charge" of many of the warehouses were
the thefts occurred.
Archie Zapanta is Arturo Zapanta's son.  Arturo Zapanta retired from the Sierra Army Depot in February 2007.  He was the Branch Chief for Containerization and Assembly Branch.  Sue Getty took his job after he left.    Arturo Zapanta had a combined 33 years of military and civilian service. Nepotism means never having to say your sorry.    

Excerpts from Archie Zapanta's LinkedIn page:

I have been employed at Sierra Army Depot for 9 years. During my career here I've worked all positions from laborer/worker, data entry, team leader, first line supervisor, and management. I'm currently interested in working in the private industry to further my skills/abilities in logistics and supply. Warehousing is also a main skill I've obtained through Lean Six Sigma methods.
Supervisory Supply Management Specialist                                                            
Sierra Army Depot                              

April 2005 – Present (9 years 4 months)
Oversee 7 first line supervisors, 8 warehouses, and 150+ government and contractor employees. Responsible for overseeing physical inventory for stock on hand that is over $900m Areas of responsibility also include receiving, storage, issue/shipping. Gives recommendations to upper command and management.
John Dingman's friend
Aric Manner
Archie Zapanta then waged a campaign of terror.  Zapanta and another man 'Berry' threatened and harassed each informant on and off the Depot.  One informant fainted due to panic attacks.  Zapanta then reminded the informant if that person filed a workman's compensation claim, they were not guaranteed to be rehired.  Some asked for a transfer.  But the Chief of Staff for Sierra Army Depot, Aric Manner obstructed their for a transfer request of Dingman's directorate for three months.  Eventually one informant was transferred after he informed a Congressional aide Timothy Holabird.  After all, Aric Manner is John Dingman's friend.

An aside, in my interview with Security Chief James Marcotte on October 30, 2013, Marcotte told me that Manner was the only Executive at Sierra Army Depot that Lieutenant Colonel Slosson trusted.  Was that trust misplaced?

Situation Normal

The whistleblowers have been laid off from their jobs.  The official reason?  They aren't not veterans and no longer eligible to work.  President Obama revoked the Global War On Terrorism (GWOT ) hiring authority.   They are losing their homes.  But the real reason they are not on the depot is because they reported what they saw to the Army CID and the FBI.  Those on the depot see what happens to the whistleblowers and are silent.

Sierra Army Depot has never investigated the incident.  A supervisor on the depot has never been fired for mismanagement, fraud, theft or embezzlement.

LTC Robert C. Slosson
Commanding Officer
Sierra Army Depot



"Former Army Depot employee charged with stealing and selling government property." & KRNV. 7/08 10:48 pm.  July 8, 2014.  

 “Former Sierra Army Depot Employee Indicted for Theft of Military Equipment” 08 July 2014 18:34.

 "Former Army Depot employee charged with stealing and selling government property."    Imperial Valley News.   08 July 2014 18:34.   July 8, 2014.

  “Reno Man Accused of Stealing Equipment From Sierra Army Depot.” Jul 08, 2014 6:12 PM.  July 8, 2014.

 Locke, Cathy. “A former employee of the Sierra Army Depot in Lassen County was arrested Monday, accused of stealing military equipment.” July 8, 2014 - 5:14 pm July 8, 2014.


Anonymous said...

close it !

Anonymous said...

People might take you seriously if you had any of your facts straight, instead your just turning word of mouth gossip into a writin word

James A. Bretney said...

What facts do I not have correct?

Cheryl Fleury-Balmer said...

I worked at Sierra Army Depot. Your story is not 100% correct, but it is about 98% true, and is more accurate than anyone would like to admit. Here is my opinion - some years ago Congress decided that Sierra Army Depot should be closed. It is called "BRAC" which stands for Base Realignment and Closure. When an installation is on the BRAC list, many people take the initiative to work somewhere else so they have a choice of where they move. The Government is responsible for placing Federal employees in a like position, but it could be anywhere. They are only obligated to make ONE offer. What does this have to do with the subject? Well, the people who are talented, experienced, etc. all bail from the organization, possibly leaving some of the stupid, lazy, and corrupt people behind. The worst thing that happened is that Harry Reid worked to keep the Depot open. I know that lack of accountability runs rampant at Sierra, and most of the employees that I had were of the mind that property should be handled the "easy" way, not the right way. Some of the top leaders had no leadership experience, and many had no Army, or any kind of military or much Federal Government experience. All of the f***-ups ultimately hurts us at taxpayers. I could go on and on...I am very bitter over what I witnessed and experienced in my three years at Sierra Army Depot. There seems to be a handful of people who "run" the Depot, and they encourage theft, sexual harrassment, favoritism, and many other vile activities that I had not experienced in my 20+ years in the Federal Service prior to working at Sierra Army Depot. I demanded professionalism and accountability from my employees, and ended up getting driven out; my life was made so miserable because I "spoke up" that I eventually resigned after 24 years of Federal Service due to the harm I suffered.